Impact from pandemic proving ‘long term’ as gem and mineral shows kick off

Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 9:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After over a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19, the gem and mineral Shows are back.

That’s good news for sellers and businesses, but tourism officials recognize the long road ahead to get the Tucson economy back to normal.

Carolyn Cary of Norcross-Madagascar considers herself one of the “lucky ones.”

“We’ve had a lot of good turnout. Today is the first day and we’re really happy with the turnout so far.”

Norcross-Madagascar survived the pandemic, but others weren’t so lucky. Now, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is back, but on a smaller scale.

With the loss of many international visitors, Dan Gibson with Visit Tucson says we’ll be seeing the economic effects of the pandemic for a long time.

“50 percent of the rooms might be filled, 60 percent might be filled, but they’re not at the same rate. People aren’t paying 300, 400, 500 dollars a night, and they’re not staying as long,” Gibson said.

But he adds there are silver linings. If big crowds aren’t your thing, it’s the perfect time to come out with limited capacity. Gibson says this also gives people within driving distance another reason to visit the area.

“It’s one of the few really positive signs we’ve seen in a year, so fingers crossed, we will take all the good news we can get.”

And Cary tells us, it truly is a team effort to get the show back on its feet.

“Any boost to the economy is just really great for all of us to make Tucson stronger and hopefully with the vaccine and everything else we get herd immunity and we’re all protected and maybe some normalcy soon.”

To check out a list of all the Gem and Mineral Show happenings, click here.

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