MARQUETTE - Hundreds of people stopped by the opening night of the 39th annual U.P. Builder's Show in the Superior Dome Friday, looking for some good deals on a wide array of home-related products.
The show is organized by the U.P. Builder's Association and the Marquette Builders Exchange.
More than 100 vendors are packed into 200 booths inside the dome this weekend, and organizer Marlene Ombrello said if the show is anything like last year's, more than 8,000 people will hit the show over the weekend.
Tim and Katie Sholander, of Marquette, check out flooring options at the Carpet Specialists’ booth at the U.P. Builders Show inside the Superior Dome Friday evening. The show runs through Sunday. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
The variety of vendors - from realtors and bankers to contractors and landscapers - is what makes the show successful year after year, Ombrello said.
"It's a one-stop shopping show," she said. "We have everything from the ground up. Your realtors who sell you the land, the contractors who will build you the house and all of the finishings of the house, like your flooring, your windows, your siding, your roofing."
Ombrello said with so many vendors, people can shop around for the best price.
"People can come here and visit many vendors who do the same thing and get estimates," she said.
Escanaba residents Carol and Neil Nykanen, and son Josh, 12, were doing just that, scoping out several U.P. businesses as they begin to think about building a new home in Marquette.
The Nykanens, who own some land in the Marquette area, were shopping around for roofing when they stopped to check out a unique stove in the Household Appliance booth.
"The old Amish stove is getting a lot of attention," said Household Appliance co-owner Steven Anderson, whose business has been represented in the builder's show for five years. "It's bringing back a lot of memories for people."
Anderson said with thousands of people dropping in to the weekend-long show, it's the "cheapest advertising you can do for the year."
"It's the people coming (to the store) from the show, coming in to look at the products, is where it benefits us," Anderson said. "You can't ask for better exposure."
Several vendors will also provide demonstrations over the weekend as well as thousands of dollars worth of giveaways and prizes.
The show is open today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and continues again at 11 a.m. Sunday, before wrapping up at 5 p.m.
Door prizes are available all weekend, including a new 18.2-cubic-foot Frigidaire refrigerator valued at $829 donated by American TV $ Appliance of Marquette, and a $449 Seahawk five-person pedal boat with canopy donated by Tractor Supply Co.
Tickets are $3 for adults and youths 13 and older, $2 for seniors 65 and older, $1 for kids 6-12 years old and free for kids 5 and younger.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org