Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off to... - Tire Review Magazine

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s Off to…

So it’s off to Vegas I go.

* * * * * * *
It’s Nov. 12 now, it’s snowing and I’m back from the dry desert and not-as-crowded-as-thought Las Vegas Convention Center.

While the SEMAfolks were decreeing “record-breaking” attendance – up 7% YoY – the walls and displays at the South Hall must have absorbed the masses. To me, things seemed slow. I heard that both the North and Central Halls atSEMA were constantly packed.

Of course, we’ll never know the real attendance figures; like local TV weather reports, the information is kept intentionally vague.

Not many complaints from exhib­itors, though, and most I spoke with said they made lots of new friends. And that’s a major positive.

There was plenty to see on the floor of the GTE. Big displays by Greenball, Hennessy, Falken, Cooper, Apollo Vredestein, BKT, Hunter, Toyo and Nitto. Conti had a new-look booth that attracted a crowd. Lots of new products unveiled on the GTE turf; the entire back end of the South Hall was all tires all of the time.

A host of new exhibitors “forced” the relocation of the media center to the other side of the world to make room for booths. Our compressed schedules didn’t allow extra hiking time so we spent little time there. Hope we didn’tmiss anything.

The Tire Industry Honors event was, as always, a joy. Well-deserved honors, to be sure. Got to catch up with a lot of industry friends there and everywhere. Much to talk about, more to learn.

Cabs are always a problem, but it seems this year was the worse. Wait times on the first two days of the show reached past an hour and a half. For some reason the cab line on the South Hall side was moved, but that mattered less than the total lack of cabs. One hack told me there was an overall shortage of cabs in town, another said cabs were tied up running folks from one hotel to the next.

But we’ll be back at it again next year. The 2014 SEMA Show and Global Tire Expo is just around the corner (at least for my planning purposes). We’ll probably see you there!

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