March 7, 2008
TC3 sports complex hosting Home Show
Builders association says new venue offers more central location for annual convention
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Russ Vinnedge, owner of Homer-based Concrete Renovators, arranges decorative concrete paving stones Thursday morning at TC3’s fieldhouse in preparation for the 20th annual Tompkins Cortland Home Builders & Remodelers Association Home Show this weekend in Dryden.
Tompkins Cortland Builders & Remodelers Association kept track of progress as Tompkins Cortland Community College built its athletic facility, eying it as a location for its Home Show.
This year that desire has become a reality as TC3 hosts the 20th annual Tompkins Cortland Builders & Remodelers Association Home Show for the first time. The show features businesses that build, remodel, finance or improve homes or homeowner’s property.
“We’ve been waiting for that location to open up for the last two years,” Jim Alo, show chairman, said about the TC3 field house. “It’s more in the center and easier to get to,” he said noting that the show includes builders and remodelers from both Cortland and Tompkins County.
The show is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Courtney Wormuth, athletic facilities manager, said this is the first large nonathletic event held at the building. She said Thursday Northeast Decorating was doing a good job preparing all the booths.
Mick McDaniel, director of athletics at TC3, said there are only a few weekends a year that the field house would be available for outside use. “We had anticipated more free time,” he said. But, the new facility has generated more use from athletic teams and the fitness center, which has started programs such as a floor hockey league.
“We’ve known about this date since before we opened it in the summer,” said McDaniel, who said the builder’s association contacted TC3 after hearing about the facility. He said to accommodate the group, four teams were displaced from Thursday to Monday morning. McDaniel said the new athletic facility is used morning to night for classes and activities.
McDaniel said the Cortland Regional Sports Council, which he is a member of, promotes the new TC3 facility and has brought in sports events such as basketball tournaments. Events such as a high school game that cannot be played because of a flooded field are easier to accommodate than events that take place over several days or a weekend, he said.
“We want to make sure we’re not seen to be in competition with other facilities,” McDaniel said, explaining another consideration in not going on an all-out marketing campaign.
He said vendors setting up have been thrilled with the booths, the space and the access. “We’ve been working hard to make them happy.”
Alo said for years the show was at the state Armory on Hanshaw Road, and then last year it was moved to the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex in Cortlandville for additional space.
Russ Vinnedge, owner of Concrete Renovators, said he had never displayed in the association’s past shows at the Armory but had visited the Home Show there. He displayed at the J.M. McDonald Center last year and liked that all the vendors were together in a well-lighted room, just like at the TC3 facility where he set up Thursday.
“I think it’s going to be great. I’m excited about the new location,” he said. He also thinks there will be a big turnout for the event.
Alo said while the Cortlandville facility was ideal, the location was too far away to attract people from the Ithaca area and parking was an issue, especially since the ice rink was still open.
Alo said the TC3 location is perfect for the event and offers plenty of parking. He said the show could expand to 200 vendors if both the field house and basketball court are used. The field house offers 19,000 square feet of space. At the state Armory the biggest room, the drill room, has 6,240 square feet.
“I think people are more interested now than ever. Rather than buy new, people are fixing their homes,” Vinnedge said. “I get calls seven days a week. The repair and remodel end of the market is as busy as it can be.”
He said he hopes the new site will bring new life to the Home Show.
“The show was getting stale,” he said of the Armory location, adding that with the bigger space at TC3, a larger variety of vendors can be accommodated.
Alo said he did not see any drawbacks to having the event at TC3.
“It’s the perfect location. Everyone knows where TC3 is. There’s lots of parking and easy access into and out of the building.”
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