TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - This winter's recent rainy weather did not stop the Tucson Gem and Mineral Showcase from making a big bang on its debut weekend.
The show is just getting started and the city has set up transportation options to make it convenient for buyers and visitors to get around.
This year's gem showcase is the first year to have the Sun Link streetcar as a transportation option and hotels and exhibitors are watching ridership closely.
The stop at Cushing Street near Frontage Road, for example, is just steps away from the Riverpark Inn, which is home of the Pueblo Gem and Mineral Showcase. It is the only streetcar stop situated in front of a hotel.
Pueblo Gem Show President Wolter Mehring said the Riverpark Inn is one among three major downtown shows known as the "gold triangle."
"I think what it does even more so, it helps the established shows to attract even more buyers and more exhibitors," Mehring said.
The two other downtown shows are the A.G.T.A show at the Tucson Convention Center and the GJX Gem & Jewelry Show at the GJX Pavilion on Granada Avenue. Both shows open on Tuesday.
Just what kind of impact the streetcar has in bringing buyers to and from downtown remains to be seen.
"We're selling passes here, the city's putting some passes for the vendors and exhibitors. We're looking forward to it, we'll see how it goes," said Pubelo Gem Show Manager Maurice Destouet.
Riverpark Inn is one of several hotels that are selling unlimited, 7-day streetcar passes for $15.
New this year is the Kino Gem Loop, one of several networks of free shuttle service offered by the City of Tucson.
The Kino Loop connects eight different shows near the Kino Sports Complex and around the south side of Tucson.
More information on free shuttle routes can be found here: