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Our 2nd Year at Quartzsite

We trekked back to the desert to work the Quartzsite Rv show for 9 days starting on the 22nd of January. This year they shifted the event a week back which overlapped the Tucson Gem show by 2 days. Luckly the organizer for the Gem show is letting us come in 2 days late to work that show. That means we have 21 days straight of donut work!

Last year Quartzsite was a pivotal show for us. We earned enough money at this show to enable us to not only confidently plan for a year of donut work but also earn enough money to buy our “Land Yacht”, a 1995 Fleetwood Bounder motorhome that we still use and love. In theory, we should be able to plan our year, to a degree, based on previous years sales and estimate future earnings….in theory.

Not so in this economic disaster zone climate. This years Quartzsite show failed to live up to our bare minimum $500 a day gross sales requirement to return. In fact our profit number is down by 40% from last year. That’s the number that means more than total gross sales because it deducts our expenses and reveals our actual earnings. Show costs stayed the same but permit costs increased. I bought supplies based on last years figures and well have extra inventory to use in the future but is still mone out of pocket.

The reduction in sales could be attributed to the shift in dates. Maybe the snowbirds didnt know about the change or couldn’t make the new dates, because there certainly wasn’t as many people there this year compared to last year.

Maybe it’s because of the economy? Snowbirds are tight with their cash anyways, but other Rv product based vendors said sales were up for them this year. I know I wait for the Rv show to buy my short list of Rv products I want. Case in point, I bought 12 led lights for the sailboat and motorhome.

It could also be the fact that they located me across from another coffee/blended drink vendor. His sales were half mine and I doubt he will be returning next year after making less than $200 per day on a few days.

ON THE OTHER HAND, all cash is good when you are broke. It is nice to stash some cash before our summer season starts. In this case it’s imperative because we spent everhing we had on building and marketing the Wild West Fun Park.

If we can build our cash reserves and not go broker by the end of the year next year, it would be nice to give up this show becuase it really breaks up our sailing season. Poor me, having to leave the boat in Mexico after a month to go back to work! That’s ok, we still have almost 12 weeks planned on the water before our visa expires.

It was slow enough this year I worked the booth alone most of the time. Dad came up and helped out again this year, sleeping on the couch while the four of us sleep in the master bedroom. He was a great help setting up and working the “rush” for an hour or two in the morning. The weather was warm and I actually got a sun burn on my legs from sitting on my butt so much reading Harry Potter books. Yup, that busy! As a result, I didn’t get to wander around the worlds largest tent town at all. Hil was able to re connect with some friends we made this summer in Wyoming. The girls met some other families with kids who were working at Quartzsite. It’s nice to meet like minded families on then road.

We wrapped up the last day at quartzsite and trucked back to Tucson to setup bright and early the next morning for another 11 days of work.q

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