All About the Tucson Gem Show

It’s almost February, which means The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (or the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase) is just around the corner (Feb 13th-16th). For native Tucsonans, this is one of the most popular times of the year. This tradeshow is the biggest, most important rock and gem show in the United States and vendors from around the world crowd around the Tucson convention center and in countless makeshift booths all around the city, showcasing wares from Morocco to China.

Most of the gem exhibits are open to the public, however many are also reserved for private buyers only; which requires a proper business license to attend. Although the convention center is the focal point of the action, the truth is that there is no one single area that represents the entire event. In fact, it’s not uncommon for motel bedrooms to transform into storehouses for rock and mineral merchants.

In the gem industry, the Tucson show remains the biggest of all the exhibits; however, there is many other gem shows around the country that also aim to grow in size and caliber. As a result, many of these smaller shows come to the Tucson gem show to stay relevant in their home cities, and to maintain a presence in the international market. This is one of the reasons Tucson’s show continues to multiply in size and scope.

Gem Show Transportation

If you’re planning to attend the Tucson gem show, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, the area around downtown Tucson can become VERY congested, and many motels and even resorts become booked for the middle week in February, so whether you’re visiting Tucson for the show, or other purposes during this time—it would be best to plan well in advance before hitting the roads!

Secondly, a lot of gem show attendees have expressed frustration about transportation options for going to different exhibits. Within the show are free shuttle services that are designed to transport attendees between the different areas, and these are paid for by the individual exhibit owners to help ferry clients to wherever they need to go. However, a problem frequently arises where the merchants will change the schedule of the shuttle routes at the last minute to attract more customers. For instance, a shuttle to a bead show that originates near the convention center may suddenly start transporting clients from downtown, even though the schedule that was submitted months in advance says that the shuttle arrives periodically at a different location.

As a result of this confusion, a lot of gem show attendees find themselves waiting around at different pickup spots, only to find their shuttle did not arrive. This means lots of stranded and confused gem show customers!

This is why we recommend a trained town-car chauffeur to handle your transportation needs to and from the show. By traveling via private car with UNO Transportation, you won’t run the risk of messing up your schedule as you wait for a shuttle that may or may not ever arrive. Simply call 520 247-1811 to book your chauffeur for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show!

The Accenture Match Play Golf Tournament

Winter in Tucson can be a beautiful time of year, especially for golf enthusiasts. The air is fresh, it’s not too cold, and in the foothills of the mountains are plenty of world-famous green courses used by the PGA, and which also open for special events. One of the most unique golf tournaments in Tucson is the Accenture Match Play that is held annually in February.

Accenture is a local financial institution and is an umbrella sponsor of the World Golf Championships. The company is entering its 15th year of sponsoring this game. The idea behind the tournament is to pit world champions against each other for a special charity event that benefits the Tucson Conquistadores, an organization that supports many youth groups around southern Arizona, like the YMCA.

The event takes place at the Dove Mountain Golf Course, which can be accessed via Tangerine Rd in the city’s far northwest side (technically in the city of Marana). The course is a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature that opened in January 2009. The area includes 850 stunning acres, as well as a nearby Ritz-Carlton hotel for guests and players alike.

During a match play event, opponents face off for how many individual holes won, and on each hole the most that can be gained is one point. Contestants play on until a player wins a hole, and one round sometimes lasts for days. Traditional champions sometimes don’t do as well in a match play event, while others do very well, so it creates a different kind of game.

It’s important to plan ahead if you are going to attend an Accenture Match Play golf tournament. Due to the length of the games, visitors often require reliable transportation means if they’re not staying at one of the nearby resorts. In addition, the course on Dove Mountain is a bit tucked away for visitors who are centrally located.

At UNO Transportation, we’re prepared to help you get the most out of your time in Tucson, AZ. Not only can our experienced drivers get you to the Accenture Match Play tournament in a timely fashion, they’ll be prepared to get you back to wherever else in the city you’re staying at—and can pick you up again the next morning for another round. In addition, our drivers can show you many of the scenic and interesting locations found in Tucson’s beautiful Northwestern most reaches.


Need a ride in Tucson AZ? Try a Town Car instead of a taxi

Traveling in the Northwest Tucson Arizona area can be simple, inexpensive and luxuries all at the same time with UNO Transportation. If you live in Tucson you may know that the taxi service in places like North Tucson, the Foothills, Oro Valley, Marana, Catalina, Sabino Canyon, Saddlebrook and unincorporated Pima County leave a little something to be desired. As opposed to a luxury ride with UNO Transportation that is punctual and professional at a pre-quoted value price point.

The quality of the vehicles in Tucson’s local taxi market vary as greatly. Some are well maintained automobiles while others appear to be held together with duct tape and vigorous wishing. They came in an array of bewildering colors from shabby scratched silver primer to bright yellow and neon green and all the other colors of the rainbow in between. Yet all of these taxi’s have one thing in common regardless of color a meter that endlessly ticks off miles, waiting time and stops. The most frustrating part of this experience is the dreaded phone call to book a Tucson taxi some of the company switchboards ring to an entirely different city such as Phoenix but they try to book for Tucson anyway. A typical call to a Tucson taxi service (most of them have garages located downtown or south of downtown Tucson 20 miles away) usually consists of a replying statement of yes we will have a taxi at your location in twenty minutes and then that call is inevitably followed by the would be customer’s second call twenty-five minutes later, because no car is there yet. That frustrating reply from the taxi company is on the same script, yes we will have a car there in just twenty minutes, from now and this loop can go on for rest of the day or night without a single taxi ever showing up. If you are going to the airport to catch a flight or out for a special dinner this can be a great inconvenience to say the least.

  Fortunately there is an alternative and wether you prefer to call it a Town Car service or the black car industry these offerings provide a superior experience across the board then that of taxis. For Tucson Az with UNO Transportation the rates are often the same or lower then taxis. UNO has a fleet of late model luxury cars with all the amenities driven by well dressed professional drivers. UNO Transportation serves most of the major resorts in Tucson such as the Hilton El Conquistador, Westin La Paloma, Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, Westward Look, JW Marriott Star Pass and Loews Ventana Canyon as well as servicing the smaller hotel and bed and breakfasts. In these relationships it is vital to be punctual and UNO is on time every time. UNO Transportation drivers are local to the Tucson northwest they have excellent driving records and backgrounds with a superb knowledge of the restaurants, bars, clubs, resorts and tourist attractions for the entire metropolitan area.

If you are local to Tucson then you can join the growing number of people going out once or twice a week to Tucson’s wonderfully diverse local eating, drinking and entertainment establishments and call UNO Transportation to drive you to and from your location. Perhaps leaving you free to enjoy a glass of wine or two, if that is your wish. If you are a permanent resident, a tourist visiting Tucson or a snowbird then please consider UNO Transportation to and from Tucson International Airport or Phoenix Sky Harbor. We track all our reservation’s incoming flights and will meet our client at the airport with a name sign and a smile no matter how early or late your flight is and then the driver will escort their client to the baggage carousal and do all the heavy lifting.

UNO Transportation can do custom tours, shopping trips, weddings, spa outings, golf trips and all manner of other excursions. UNO Transportation is also available for courier assignments (moving something from point A to B such as a prescriptions, documents or even groceries) at very competitive value rates. Although UNO Transportation serves the whole Tucson metropolitan area UNO really shines in the northern part of Tucson (Oro Valley, Marana, Dove Mountain, Saddlebrook, Catalina, Catalina foothills and Sabino Canyon) and in most cases can have a car there for a point to point trip with a minimal notice of only minutes. UNO Transportation is available 24/7 and can meet all land transportation needs.

UNO Transportation’s phone number is (520) 247-1811 feel free to call and try our free concierge service over the phone. Do anything from inquiring about all of Tucson’s offerings from restaurants to theaters to then booking your hotel or restaurant reservations. UNO Transportation has a professional local travel consultant ready to speak to you 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Arun Chakrabarty

Did You Know… ?

Did you know that Northwest Tucson is one of the most well known communities in the country? UNO Transportation provides town car services to Northwest Tucson as one of our specialties. But, what many people don’t realize about this region is that it’s really composed of multiple communities joined closely together, with many dynamic opportunities available exclusively to this region of the city.

Most of the time, when somebody travels to Northwest Tucson, they will be arriving in one of a number of outlying communities and suburban developments that constitute this region. For instance, Oro Valley, Saddlebrook, Golder Ranch, Catalina and Sabino Canyon are all predominant communities and regions under the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Other communities further northwest include Dove Mountain and properties around Avra Valley Road.

People from around the world are familiar with Northwest Tucson—even if they don’t realize it. The reason is because Northwest Tucson is a prominent location for everything from world-championship golf to scientific research. For instance, north on Oracle Rd past the town of Catalina is the location of the world-famous Biosphere research project. The giant domed Biosphere 2 is open for tours, and is a must-see for people visiting this region. UNO Transportation provides travel to the Biosphere.

If you’re a fan of golf, you’ve seen Northwest Tucson on the TV countless times. The reason is because there are multiple PGA hot-spots in this region, including the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Dove Mountain (Marana) that is frequented by Tiger Woods.

As far as medical research and treatment, Northwest Tucson remains one of the most recognized in the country and even the world. Ventana Medical Systems is a world-famous cancer research and treatment center. Furthermore, Sierra Tucson within the Catalina Foothills is one of the world’s most prestigious rehabilitation clinics. We provide travel to Sierra Tucson as well as any other premier medical facility.

Other specialties of the region include multiple nationally famous resorts that include the Westin La Paloma, Hilton El Conquistador, and Ventana Canyon. It should also be noted that Northwest Tucson extends further south into the main region of the city of Tucson, including the areas around River and Campbell that include famous restaurants like Sullivans, Vivace, and Union.

Whether you wish to travel to Tucson resorts or explore any of the other sights and accommodations of Northwest Tucson, UNO Transportation is available at your disposal—not only to provide basic transportation, but also luxury tours of Tucson as well. This will allow you to get the most out of your experience in the Old Pueblo.

Town Car Service Desert Museum Tour

UNO Transportation can provide you town car services to the Arizona Desert Museum. This location has been a staple among Tucson residents for many years, as it provides the opportunity for locals to experience the diverse wildlife that calls the Sonoran desert home.

Cool Summer Nights at the Desert Museum in Tucson - Town Car ServiceFirst-time residents of Tucson may not realize, but just beyond the expanse of the city is a vast wildlife refuge. Although the desert appears inhospitable, it is home to a wide range of species that include the javelina, mountain lion, prairie dog, big horn sheep, great horned owl, and various other very common animals including desert rabbits and even deer. Visiting the Sonoran Desert Museum is an opportunity to observe these animals face-to-face.

Although beyond the museum, sometimes hikers experience close-encounters with the same critters, even when they never intended to. For instance, the javelina is known to patrol not only far-away desert regions, but they often migrate into suburban neighborhoods, where they can be found raiding trash dumpsters and seeking scraps of food around houses.

In the wild these boars, that are actually more closely related to the rodent than the pig family, often group together in herds, and sometimes dozens can be seen stampeding across the desert.

Another of the most famous species of wildlife in the desert is the rattlesnake. These may come in the form of either diamondback or Mojave varieties, and both are extremely venomous. Their sharp rattling sound warns hikers who come too close, and outdoor enthusiasts should remain cautious about where they step.

Other more friendly inhabitants of the desert include prairie dogs, hummingbirds, rabbits, and a wide variety of ground squirrels, mice, and other dirt-digging mammals.

The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum provides the opportunity to observe these many types of creatures, from the cute to the dangerous, through the safety of a zoo-like setting. In addition, the museum provides ecological and geological presentations, providing a full education about the Sonoran Southwest.

For more information about traveling to or from the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, contact an experienced UNO Transportation representative. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum address is 2021 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743.