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Sounds like record crowds may have descended upon the ATMA train meet Saturday morning, which is always a good sign. I decided to attend Saturday afternoon. And by 2PM, nobody was there!!! :confused: I could have driven a golf cart down the aisles and not hit anybody. Amazing how quickly the morning crowd dissipated.

Last November, I hosted 3 tables... but this time I had too much brewing on the home-front in January/February to organize another sale. But November 2019's First Frost Meet will be here soon enough!!! :D

Of note... the Grzyboski boys opted to head west for the WGHOT event in Novi, MI. So the usual Grzyboski wall of trains along the east wall of the main building was occupied by several smaller booths. But that could very well have been the first ATMA show since the late 1970's that I can recall Grzboski Trains not being present. As the old Bob Dillan song lyrics go, "times.... they are a changin'...". Although I have a hunch Grzyboski Trains will return in November. If anybody knows differently, please chime in.

I purchased nothing AT the show itself. However, the trip was worth it because I purchased an MTH army/medical RPO car that one of my Norfolk Southern friends was selling. He attended the show as an early bird, so I connected with him at the Coopersburg Diner when he was driving home and I was driving to the show. :eek: So all was not for naught.

But I must say.... I was a bit disappointed with many of the dealer booths I observed this time -- mostly because the booth's didn't look like they were well-merchandised... JusTrains being the one exception. Even Nicholas Smith's booth looked picked over, but that could be because I arrived so late. Aside from that, no other booth really caught my attention. And many of the dealers looked tired. So perhaps the early-morning crowd had taken its toll on them by 2PM.

From my experience hosting tables last November, the Sunday crowd hits its prime between 11am-1PM. There was no "early admission" crowd to speak of on Sunday that even came close to the big surge of early shoppers Saturday morning. So if anybody attended today (Sunday), please chime in to let us know how the crowd fared today.

As I mentioned last time, it's a tremendous amount of work to set up a multi-table booth at these shows -- especially if you keep the booth well-merchandised. I also think the dealers who just show up with their same-old products miss the fact buyers are looking for good deals as well as stuff that's unique and appealing. Failing that, dealers are gonna likely be packing up most of their stuff for the next show.

Don't get me wrong... there's a ton of life left in a show like Allentown. Next to York, it's the next best thing that's so local to many of us living in the eastern PA, NJ and NYC area. But folks are also tapped out in February after the Christmas toy train season -- not to also mention a number of buyers now have their sights set on pre-orders from Lionel's latest catalog despite the number of quality issues from 2018. So at the end of the day, one thing is still VERY apparent: there's a TON of trains out their on the market... with no apparent end in sight for even more trains coming over from China in coming months.

All that being said, Allentown is always worth a good drive on a pleasant winter day in February because ya just never know who you'll see OR what item you'll find staring back at you when you least expect it. :)

David
 

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Hi DAVID,
Our gang of three arrived at 10:30 AM, had to wait in line for about 5 minutes and when we got in it was a shuffle from one booth to another. At least I didn't get run over by any scooters. I didn't purchase anything just got to look at all the stuff there. I did notice on Gold Bonnet at Nicolas Smaith when we arrived but by the time I got back to that hall it was gone. I did see another MTH Santa Fe red bonnet at Just Trains but it too was taken by the time I got done with the hall. Peoples were buying for sure. Saw GUYZ getting hand stamped and coming back in to purchase more. Had a friend there that had a booth and he did real good he said. He had a prior engagement for Sunday so he was done for the weekend but was really pleased. Afterwards we headed to DeMarcos bar & resturant for Wing and Yuengs, along with cheeseburger subs. Good eats and nice day out looking at trains. Bummer that GRYZBOSKIs weren't there, I always could dicker a price or two with them.
There was a vendor in the big hall near the N gauge long layout North side of hall, that was having a medical emergency. I knew they had EMTs there and a Doctor but don't know how he fared out. Prayers for that gentleman. Later heard it might have been a stroke?
 

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the Grzyboski boys opted to head west for the WGHOT event in Novi, MI
Yes they were... As usual I bought something I didn't need.
This show was packed for 2 1/2 days. Mostly families which was good to see. The $15 a head price tag was a little steep but, I guess if the show is good enough they will come.
9 operating layouts. 2 ride areas and 3 area's for the kids to sit on the floor and push trains around while the parents had a chance to sit down.
Is the Allen town show like this ?
 

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As I worked my way around all the aisles I talked to quite a few sellers and all seemed pleased with sales Sat. :thumbsup:

I got there about 9:15 and have never seen it so crowded.

Seemed to me O gauge offerings were down this year. :mad:
 

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Lots of people were buying, and between 8 and 10 it was MOBBED! I even picked up the MTH Premier D&H 5 car passenger set to go with my Legacy ABA Sharks. Now if I can only find the 2-car add on... :D

There was plenty of O-gauge, but a ton of HO.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
..... Mostly families which was good to see. The $15 a head price tag was a little steep but, I guess if the show is good enough they will come.
9 operating layouts. 2 ride areas and 3 area's for the kids to sit on the floor and push trains around while the parents had a chance to sit down.
Is the Allentown show like this ?
The Allentown show leans more towards a York "train meet" than it does the WGHOT show or an industry trade show. Many sellers are selling stuff that is of no interest to families. Nonetheless, there's always a good cross-section of train enthusiasts across all ages that attend. A "few" families at best in attendance.... but certainly NOT in the league of WGHOT. Still one of my favorite train shows to attend though.

There are train races that capture the whimsy of the younger audience, and a half-dozen or so modular layouts. Of course, the biggest draw for your better half is the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market on Saturday!!! But if you're not up for the drive to York, then Allentown is your best bet if you live in Eastern PA, NJ or the greater NYC area. :D

David
 
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