OCEAN CITY, N.J. – A revolution in technology, changes in consumer attitudes plus an uncertain economic climate make 2001 a challenging time for the antiques industry.
But reports from ‘Atlantique City,’ the world’s largest indoor art, antique and collectibles exposition, are 100 percent positive.
“Advance ticket sales and booth space have been well ahead of last year,” said Norman Schaut, producer of the industry’s premier megafair set for March 24-25 in the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The ‘Atlantique City’ Spring Megafair opens to the public in the Atlantic City Convention Center at 10 a.m., March 24. Show hours run until 8 p.m. On March 25, hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
So how does ‘Atlantique City’ keep growing in the face of such challenges?
“We provide the public with a unique experience,” says Schaut. “Something they can’t find anywhere else. It’s a spectacular event full of rare merchandise and special attractions that has proven to be recession-proof over the years.
“We wow them with acres of dealers from 50 states and 17 foreign countries. And we entertain them.”
In 2000, organizers invested over $530,000 in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, billboards and direct mail. They advertised heavily in the trade publications which are always a major source for booth and ticket sales.
They reach their basic customers – the serious collectors and decorators.
In addition to a huge selection of merchandise, special features attract and entertain hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Highlights in the past have included the Kennedy Collection, Treasures from the Titanic, A Marilyn Monroe Fantasy, An Olympic Centennial Celebration, The History of Monopoly featuring the first, handmade game board and a Miss America Panorama including the first crown from 1921.
This year’s special attraction, An Old Tyme Country Antiques Fair, features fine Americana dealers arranged in a period town square with a Cape May gazebo as its centerpiece.
Events and displays include apple pie, pickle and preserve judging plus demonstrations of quilting, pottery making and glass blowing.
There will be a patriotic exhibition tracing the history of our stars and stripes with a dramatic Statue of Liberty towering overhead. Banjo melodies and barbershop quartets complete this show within a show.
‘Atlantique City’ features an exclusive Computographic Locator System which contains over 1200 categories of antiquity. Shoppers get instant printouts of the names and booth numbers of dealers offering specific items.
There is an informative Web site which provides complete information on the show and makes it easy to order early entry discount tickets.
Free furniture delivery.
An on-going special attraction of the show is the Grand Furniture Galleria, encompassing American, British, European and Oriental styles as well as decorative accessories.
Free 200-mile furniture delivery, which was enthusiastically received by dealers and showgoers alike in October, will be repeated in March.
Ray Mansfield, syndicated newspaper columnist and host of NBC’s Let’s Talk Antiques, will provide free appraisals from 1-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Mansfield will discuss the history and background of antiques brought to him.
For a free courtesy pack, early admission tickets, hotel, motel and air discounts visit www.atlantiquecity.com or call 1-800-526-2724.