We had a good show at the annual GTE held in the Empire State Plaza
Convention Center yesterday. Brian, Fred, Geoff (via Doug), Mike Lacasse,
Mike Richards & myself brought modules. We had enough modules to just about
fill six (6) 6-ft. tables arranged in a U-shaped pattern. There was plenty
of room on the floor of the Convention Center for spectators as there were
only three (3) operating layouts (i.e. HO, S & us-the O-gauge group, that
usually attends, did not have a layout this year). Thanks to beginning
setting-up on Saturday by Brian, Mike Richards, my son, Scott, and myself,
we were able to quickly slot in Mike Lacasse and Fred's modules on Sunday
and we had trains running in record time at around 8:45 am (i.e. more than
an hour before the show started at 10 am). There were a few track problems
and some train problems but things generally ran well. We managed to secure
enough stanchions with tape barriers to surround the entire layout, which
helped prevent spectators from causing problems like we experienced at the
PCC show on 11/23. In regard to spectators, there were definitely fewer
than in past years, especially in the afternoon with the storm moving in
outside. According to James Lauser, the show coordinator, overall
attendance was down by about 1/3 from last year. Things were so quiet
around 3 pm that we were able to begin packing up at about 3:30 pm to try
and beat the storm. We didn't quite make it as there was already about 5-6"
of snow when emerging from under the Empire State Plaza!
P.S. Despite the reduced attendance, the club received the usual honorarium
of $100 for exhibiting at the show.