One segment of Atlantic City’s resurgence will take an important step this weekend when a fall antique show returns for the first time since 2008.
JMK Shows & Events hopes to build on the success of its spring show and efforts to reinvigorate the resort with its Atlantic City Antiques Show in the convention center on Saturday and Sunday.
Area collectibles dealers who have each exhibited at the resort shows for two decades welcomed the return of the fall show.
Richard Chapman, who co-owns Only Yesterday on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, said his business has “done extremely well” at the March show in Atlantic City since JMK took it over.
“A fall show would be a really nice addition to what’s going on over there,” said Chapman, 72, of Ocean City. “It’s really delightful they’re taking a crack at reviving the show.”
Arnie Small, co-owner of Barbara Gerr Antiques in Galloway Township, praised the work of JMK Shows & Events re-establishing the spring show and hoped the fall show would be as effective.
Allison Kohler, president of JMK Shows, said customers and exhibitors started asking for the fall show’s return almost immediately after the company announced in 2010 it would bring a spring antique show back to Atlantic City.
“But we had to restore and invigorate the March show first,” Kohler said, after a “struggling” show run by F&W Media was terminated.
Chapman was blunt about the F&W Media shows, which had replaced the once-popular Atlantique City shows run by Ocean City resident Norman Schaut.
“The people who bought it really fumbled it, I thought, but they were also bucking the tide,” he said, with shows facing Internet competition and then the economic downturn.
Unlike F&W Media, JMK Shows is focused on antique shows. Now in its 40th year, the company runs 16 antique shows nationwide, including five others in New Jersey, Kohler said.
Restoring the shows required better promotion, reasonable booth prices for dealers, and ensuring a better appearance on the Atlantic City Convention Center floor by specifying, for example, that each table have a tablecloth to the floor. “Parts of the former show used to look like a garage sale,” she said.
The dealers said they’ve been delighted with the work of Kohler, who took over the family business in Succasunna, Morris County, founded by her parents.
“She runs a really professional show. I give her credit, Chapman said.
He said he takes his “deluxe assortment” of glass, china and memorabilia from sports, politics and TV to many other shows from New England to North Carolina, and “she has handled it just the way it ought to be.”
“Allison’s done a great job in buying the show, taking it over and promoting it,” Small said.
He’ll be exhibiting the American art pottery for which Barbara Gerr Antiques is known and expects to do well.
“The booth fees are very reasonable for what you get, and you get a good crowd,” Small said.
Besides the 150 dealers already signed up, this weekend’s show will offer appraisals of collectibles for $5 from a pair of experts, one an accredited general appraiser and the other a doll specialist. A glass repair and restoration clinic will be conducted by Wade M. Nulton, an expert from Flanders, Morris County.
Kohler said she has been working with the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority to enhance advertising and promotion.
“Starting with the show in March, we’ll have a new logo and ‘Do AC’ will be on all of our materials,” she said.
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