By Brecken Branstrator
Organizers of GJX said the occupancy restrictions for events in Tucson as COVID-19 numbers rise around the country again are just one of several obstacles leading it to cancel its 2021 trade show. (Image courtesy GJX Facebook page)
Tucson, Ariz.—Organizers of the Gem and Jewelry Exchange (GJX) trade show in Tucson, Arizona have canceled their 2021 event.

According to the show’s website, the decision came because the team doesn’t believe, given the stringent occupancy limits required and the risk to buyers, exhibitors, and staff, that they can safely hold the show next year.

A recent letter sent to exhibitors from CEO Allan Norville said though correspondence in August noted his optimism for COVID-19 being under control by year-end and the possibility of holding the 2021 edition, “this is obviously not the case today.”

According to the latest data, the U.S. has reached more than 11 million total positive cases of COVID-19, with 1 million of those added in a one-week span alone.

In Tucson, this means the city is maintaining its restrictions and policies for events over 50 people, including mandates required to protect everyone involved.

“GJX supports the concerns of the health department, but the mandates create serious challenges to operate the 2021 GJX show,” Norville wrote in his letter.

This includes, he added, occupancy limitations of one person per 150 square feet, meaning the show would only be able to have 800 people inside its structure, including dealers, buyers, registration, police and staff.

The show will apply all funds paid for exhibitor booths to the 2022 event, and any remaining costs incurred from the cancellation will be taken on by GJX.

The news follows the cancellation of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

As of right now, the American Gem Trade Association is still scheduled to have its 2021 Tucson GemFair event, but a final decision will be made at a meeting scheduled for today (Nov. 19), CEO Doug Hucker told National Jeweler in a recent interview.

Meanwhile, no information has officially been released about JCK Tucson yet, but JCK Events has taken all information about the show down from its website.

As of Wednesday, some other shows open to the public are still planning 2021 events, including the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show and the 22nd Street Show, which has changed its floorplan to follow safety protocols, according to its website.

The JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show also still has its 2021 dates posted, with no information to the contrary, as does Select Tucson.

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