Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Vendors from all over unveil their best during the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. The annual event means big business for vendors making the trip to Tucson.
It's also a boost for area businesses.
Sam Sadi owns Kettle Restaurant. He says the Gem Show rush brings in 20 percent of his total sales for the year.
"It's very important. Actually, it's the major event for the whole year now, especially after we lost the training camp," Sadi told 9OYS.
Then, there are the wholesale vendors.
"If you look around here there's about 200 tons of stuff and it took two weeks to set up," Bill Kari, co-manager of Steven Bookbinder explained. Up from Brazil, Kari and his crew have been setting up shop for 34 years.
"We not only bring economy here but to all the people that buy for us, they actually resale," Kari continued.
Those companies, Tucson vendors included, turn those items around for a pretty profit.
Convention and Visitors Bureau organizers estimate 50,000 people will visit Tucson during the show's two-week run.