Sunday, July 19, 2009

AWFS 2009

Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers

Every two years they hold a trade show. Initially in Anaheim, in 2005 they moved the show to Las Vegas. This is where folks who build cabinets and furniture go to see what is available in machinery, raw goods and hardware. I have been attending since 1991. I have two reasons to be there; I need to see what my customers have available to them in the way of machinery and tooling and because many large wood products manufacturers have in house capabilities to do what I do the suppliers to the sharpening industry are there too.

Because of the economy this years show was poorly attended by vendors and potential customers alike. I leisurely walked the majority of the show in one day and chose to drive back earlier on Saturday rather than go for just a couple more hours to see the few things I didn't on Friday. It did allow me to spend more time with the folks I did meet up with.

Driving over I went through a couple of good sized storms, one of which had me down under 30mph and still couldn't really see where I was going. The bridge at Hoover dam is making good progress as they get ready to do the last pour on the arch which will connect the two sides. They are starting to widen 93 on the Arizona side so it will be 4 lanes all the way to and over the bridge. They have already moved the Homeland Security checkpoint so that only those vehicles going down and over the dam will get inspected after the bridge is open. 93 was chosen as the NAFTA route in the West so they are trying to make it as smooth flowing as possible. The bypass around downtown Wickenburg is almost complete. Much of 93 between Wickenburg and I40 is now 4 lanes. I am not sure if any additional road widening is scheduled.

While there I met up with some friends from Grand Junction and Tucson. All of us went to dinner Friday night. I was really excited about taking them to Mizumos in the Tropicana. Turns out, after over 30 years, they had closed. Nobody could tell us why but I knew the parents had turned over much of the operation to the kids and last time I was there in December I remember them screaming at each other in the kitchen. So we went to Legends steakhouse a few feet away and I had the worst filet in my life, filet is supposed to melt in your mouth not have the consistancy of shoe leather. At $36 with potatoes I expected much better, David, our waiter, did toss in an extra beer for the road but I doubt I will ever go back. Every body else's meat was perfect. My first night there some of us visited the Garden Bar in the Flamingo which was nice and quiet for talking but void of any food so we took off to Margeritaville and shared a volcano of nachos which the 3 of us did not finish. Their Landshark lager, I thought, was much better than their margerita which I had had in December. Both mornings I was there I had breakfast in the buffet at Imperial Palace, for $13 it wasn't bad at all. After dinner on Friday I took my friends on a tour of some more casinos, including a stop at Swenson's, and even being the oldest managed to walk all three of them in to the ground. Bad thing was with staying up late 2 nights in a row I kept dozing off at the wheel on the way home, but I managed to get back in one piece.

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