First off, the promoter Rick Larson is awesome! When I called to reserve some tables, Rick offered to reserve a motel room for me. I have never had a promoter reserve a motel room for me in the past. I can't say how much I appreciate that kind of service. On top of that, Rick is a real personable guy. He owns an excellent card shop in the mall that houses the card show. He is very active on social media promoting the show. He said he has been running the show for eight years. There were a good number of dealers with excellent inventory. We just did not get much of a turn out. Saturday was actually okay but Sunday was abysmal. I would set up at this show again but just on a Saturday and try and find something in nearby Minnesota for Sunday.
So I had some time to explore Mason City. It is an old Victorian town with a nice Downtown highlighted by a beautiful old hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There is quite a bit of housing in Mason City from beautiful Victorian mansions to small ranch houses. The outskirts of town are pocketed with various manufacturing and farms. This is a town that has maintained the status quo and has not suffered the decay of so many other Midwest manufacturing towns. The Southbridge Mall, where the card show was held, unfortunately, is only half filled with stores -- which does not make a whole lot of sense because I did not see many other shopping options other than the typical big box stores like Walmart and Target.
Rick said the town is going to build a sports complex where a vacant JC Penney sits and also take over the area where his store is located. He is going to move to another part of the mall. A lot of folks seem excited about the sports complex that will have a hockey rink and basketball courts. I hope it works out and breaths new life into the mall.
With time to spare, I took a bunch of photos of Mason City, posted below. Click on the photo for a larger view.