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Houston makes its move

houston1.jpgThe Money Show of the Southwest held Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Houston, Texas, marked a successful transition to a new set of dates.

Traditionally held in late January, the show moved to the new dates to avoid conflicts with other shows. This and future shows will be anchored to early December.

Bourse Chairman Carl Schwenker said the bourse floor had 221 tables, which he said was technically a sellout.

However, he noted that public attendance dropped dramatically Saturday and Sunday.

?Somebody just turned off the faucet,? he said. ?The people who came through the doors were buyers. Wholesalers all said they had great shows. Local guys were not all that happy.?

Schwenker said he ?advertised more than I ever have.?

houston2.jpgHe said he was pleased to see the first Heritage Signature Sale held in conjunction with the show brought in $4.8 million. (See separate story.)
?We?ve tried two new things and they are absolutely bang-up successes,? he said.

One was the creation of a treasure chest ?packed with world coins and some Liberty nickels, Wheat cents and Mercury dimes.? Every child who registered got a ticket to get some coins from the chest, which was located at the Greater Houston Coin Club table.

The second success was giving kids tickets to ?Put a Penny in a Slot.? These were redeemable at an area that had five tables heaped with Lincoln Memorial cents. Each child was given a free Whitman album and had 30 minutes to look through the cents and fill as many of the holes in the album as possible. Each kid then got to keep the album.

houston3.jpgSchwenker said every kid who participated could then be told they were collectors and they should go out and fill up the rest of the album.

Patti Jagger Finner, vice president of the American Numismatic Association, helped hold a program for Boy and Girl Scouts. There were 67 Boy Scouts, 42 Girl Scouts and parents and friends brought the overall total to 147.

?Every child got a door prize,? Finner said.

The show also had a full three-day slate of educational talks. The Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. were grading coins on site. ANACS and Independent Coin Grading had tables.
Overall, Schwenker was optimistic. ?Give us a year or two and we?ll be one of the shows that dealers pencil in.?

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