(Topic ID: 235864)

York or Allentown


By Playdium

1 year ago



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  • 48 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by rmarket
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    Which is the better show, York or Allentown? EM's set to free play and flea market size.

    #2 1 year ago

    Allentown. Although York is where you’ll find the deals, and the free play area has a lot more vintage stuff

    #3 1 year ago

    York seems to have more of an EM crowd. But i'll take Allentown every day and twice on Sunday, and I live 25 minutes from York.

    #4 1 year ago

    Both, we need all we can get.

    #5 1 year ago

    Allentown for the win but York is 2nd. I try to go to both every year.
    Jeff

    #6 1 year ago

    I vote for Allentown to be held twice a year.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from whizz:

    I vote for Allentown to be held twice a year.

    Monthly would suit me fine.

    #8 1 year ago

    I like both shows. But I go both days for Allentown and only Saturday for the York show. So my vote would be Allentown.

    #9 1 year ago

    Allentown always better.

    #10 1 year ago

    It would be awesome to have a winter Allentown around this time of year, but the threat of snow would make that a hard effort to pull off and not go bankrupt as an organizer.

    #11 1 year ago

    York all the way! This show has become better each & every year. Rich & crew do a fantastic job, as preparations for next year's show begin immediately after. What started out in a firehouse basement some 20 odd years ago has grown into an incredible event. The Friday of show start is absolutely my favorite day of the year! <Just please don't tell my wife.!?

    #12 1 year ago

    As a friend of both Rich & Ivan I have to say BOTH are equal but very different shows.

    Ivan does a hell of a good job with the Allentown Show but that show has grown to a point of just craziness. It is super busy from opening right up to closing each day and a high energy show. The flea market area is likely the best in the country and is my favorite part of the show. The down side with Allentown is it has grown to a point of almost not being fun anymore. Really busy, really noisy, and just plain crazy pretty much all day. Farmers market food right across the street is another great thing about Allentown! (If you like busy & high energy Allentown is just that).

    On the flip side Rich has a totally different approach to his York Show - he isn't looking for HUGE - craziness - etc. It just has a nice feel to it - very relaxed and still a lot of fun. Rich runs the show more like he is dealing with family & friends. The show just has a great feel to it - like your old favorite pair of shoes! I actually set up for the first time as a vendor at York this past year and it exceeded all expectations actually doing better than Allentown for me. York typically has shorter lines for freeplay machines and a lot more earlier stuff including "Bingo Row' and a nice selection of woodrails & EM's. There are still plenty of newer machines but nothing like the selection at Allentown if you are into newer stuff.

    Asking which is better is like asking a parent which child is their favorite. If you can make both shows - go to both. If you can only get to one or the other flip a coin and do the other show the following year. You will not regret going to either!

    Size wise I would say Allentown is 30 to 40% bigger than York with a lot more vendors selling new parts & mods. As far as freeplay machine count I think Allentown is typically around 275 and York just over 200. If Ivan or Rich reads this post they can verify that count. I know this past year Ivan had to turn machines away due to freeplay area being 100% full on Friday. I am not sure how Rich did but I think he was at least close to full Friday (maybe room for 20 or 25 more machines at a guess).

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    Ivan does a hell of a good job with the Allentown Show but that show has grown to a point of just craziness. It is super busy from opening right up to closing each day and a high energy show. The flea market area is likely the best in the country and is my favorite part of the show. The down side with Allentown is it has grown to a point of almost not being fun anymore. Really busy, really noisy, and just plain crazy pretty much all day. Farmers market food right across the street is another great thing about Allentown! (If you like busy &amp; high energy Allentown is just that).

    I disagree with the "not being fun anymore" part, but for me the farmer's market across the street would deliver the win if I were forced to choose only one of the two. I've set up as a vendor at both shows many times now and I really appreciate the ability to walk over and get great food. At York I often bring a fridge with a packed lunch because the on-site eatery is horrible.

    @op, whichever show has too-many-pins set up is likely to win "best flea market" for the year!

    -Rob
    -visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED display boards for model H & model S Skee Ball

    #14 1 year ago

    I've always had a fondness for York. I started going back in 2004 with my dad when it was in the Horticultural Hall. Might be a weird thing, but back then, the food stand was in the actual building, and you could always smell the cheap hot dogs and popcorn the second you walked in, and to this day, that cheap "snack bar" smell reminds me of the pinball show. York always has a manageable crowd and good deals for buying games, and the EM folks always have something cool to share there.

    Allentown is giant, almost overwhelmingly so, but is always a good time. Less intimate, but definitely the show you'll find a huge variety of games. It's the one I bring my friends to. You may not see a ToTAN at York, but you'd probably see one at Allentown.

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from rkahr:

    I disagree with the "not being fun anymore" part, but for me the farmer's market across the street would deliver the win if I were forced to choose only one of the two. I've set up as a vendor at both shows many times now and I really appreciate the ability to walk over and get great food. At York I often bring a fridge with a packed lunch because the on-site eatery is horrible.
    @op, whichever show has too-many-pins set up is likely to win "best flea market" for the year!
    -Rob
    -visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED display boards for model H &amp; model S Skee Ball

    Rob,

    I have to agree food is tough at York and great at Allentown. As far as my comment about Allentown "not being fun anymore" I am not big on huge crowds and the freeplay room at Allentown is always soooooooo crowded I typically hang out just on our flea market side of the building. I hate just trying to walk through the freeplay side heading for food so I typically head out the back door and walk to the farmers market through the parking lot.

    Don't get me wrong the action at Allentown is incredible but just not my thing with the lines & crowd in that main hall. Ivan's issue with Allentown is it has basically outgrown the space. Sadly there is no additional space to use at Allentown unless he moves the flea market back outside and expands the show to both sides of the building. York doesn't have that space issue but York has the food issue.

    In my eyes both are great shows with great promoters. Another great show is Pintastic thanks to Gabe's hard work. I have never been able to attend Gabe's Show yet but I think he works harder than any promoter I have ever had the pleasure of meeting to make that show something special. We are truly lucky to have three great guys putting on 3 great shows here in the north east. And while I am at it I have to give a "shout out" to ForceFlow and his event each Summer. He started that show just two years ago and it has filled a void up in NY.

    #16 1 year ago

    Thanks for all the input guys. I would be interested in Allentown due to the volume of machines for sale versus York. I would be more inclined to spend time in the flea market area for my next purchase.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from Playdium:

    Thanks for all the input guys. I would be interested in Allentown due to the volume of machines for sale versus York. I would be more inclined to spend time in the flea market area for my next purchase.

    One thing good about Allentown is it is less than three months away (79 days to be more exact). York is still in the "distant future" about 8 months away at this point in time. Another good thing is if you don't find something you love at Allentown there is always York coming up a few months later. But if you wait and go to York in the Fall Allentown would be 15 months away if you don't find something at York.

    But again - if you can - hit both of them you will not be sorry!

    #18 1 year ago

    I have made more "parking lot" deals at Allentown than York, deals done in advance. Both shows are great IMO. More of the Canadian crowd at Allentown too, which makes getting my favorite beer easier. Thanks cdnpinballer!

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from rkahr:

    farmer's market across the street would deliver the win the on-site eatery is horrible.

    100% agreed. The ability to walk across the street for great food is what sets them apart for me also.
    There are two farmers markets in York that have great food also. But they're just about 10 minute drives. So kinda kills it.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    100% agreed. The ability to walk across the street for great food is what sets them apart for me also.
    There are two farmers markets in York that have great food also. But they're just about 10 minute drives. So kinda kills it.

    What is kind of a shame is both shows want to keep growing (which is great) but there is no room for Allentown to grow at this point. On the other hand York could grow each year for 100 years and never run out of room at the York Fairground but the food at York pretty much sucks & Rich is stuck with it because York will not allow outside vendors to sell food at their fairground unless they are approved vendors.

    The cost of renting buildings at York is insane and their rules are even worse but it is a great venue to hold an event. I know nothing about the Allentown venue other than they have great food handy.

    It is hard to beat the food at Allentown but I go to shows for pinball not for the food so I can live with snack bar food or brown bagging it a couple days a year at York. And set up day at York Rich buys vendors pizza & soda for dinner so at least we get to eat good when setting up.

    All I can say is if you are close enough to attend you will not regret going to either of these shows & personally I feel very lucky to have two great shows within 100 miles of home. Both Rich & Ivan do a great job making these shows happen every year and we all own them big for what they do! Running a show is a lot of risk & work for very little return so I am always thankful for the effort they each put into making these shows happen.

    #21 1 year ago

    We usually make the trip to Allentown on a Friday because the Saturday crowd is well...too crowded. Same for York. Both are great shows with Allentown having more pins from the modern era for sale and play. Allentown also has the Farmers Market right next door for food.

    #22 1 year ago

    I am probably the only person in here but I actually like the burgers and hot dogs from York. They are not a 5 star establishment (they only serve burgers, fries and dogs) but I actually was there long enough I went back a 2nd time later on in the day and got another burger. The wife also loved the burgers. Haven't been to allentown, plan on going this year for the first time. I live in York so the York show was the obvious go to but I don't mind driving a couple hours up to allentown to see whats up.

    #23 1 year ago

    Rick and Ivan both do a great job with the shows. Lots of good times and pinball fun. I have only been to York 2 times and had a blast.

    Allentown I go to every year and try to support them best I can. Ivan was a big help for me in getting Pintastic off the ground. For that I will always be greatful!

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from fatality83:

    I am probably the only person in here but I actually like the burgers and hot dogs from York. They are not a 5 star establishment (they only serve burgers, fries and dogs) but I actually was there long enough I went back a 2nd time later on in the day and got another burger. The wife also loved the burgers. Haven't been to allentown, plan on going this year for the first time. I live in York so the York show was the obvious go to but I don't mind driving a couple hours up to allentown to see whats up.

    Food at York isn't all that bad and you don't have to worry about getting sick after eating it (like at the Allentown snack bar) but your selection is somewhat limited. At Allentown you could eat lunch & dinner for a month and never have the same meal twice with all the food vendor choices over at the Farmers Market. But I made the mistake of grabbing some food at the Allentown snack bar one year and I'll never do that again! Maybe it was just bad luck but my stomach was a mess for almost a week.

    #25 1 year ago

    They are both great shows!! York is a little more laid back with more EM's IMO.

    #26 1 year ago

    Allentown: closer for us NEw England ppl, huge flea. More pins, more vendors, Farmers Market kicks ass. But more crowded. More DMD games, really loud and congested,

    York: more EM’s and Bingos, more open less congestion. Better overall prices on pins in Free Play. A few hours further to travel and more likely to rain, just sayin’

    #27 1 year ago

    26 posts and no one has asked the most important question yet. Which show has the better hotels?

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from rmarket:

    26 posts and no one has asked the most important question yet. Which show has the better hotels?

    So funny. Those are always great to see.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    It would be awesome to have a winter Allentown around this time of year, but the threat of snow would make that a hard effort to pull off and not go bankrupt as an organizer.

    Stay tuned. I'm working on bringing a show to Wilmington, De in early 2020.

    #30 1 year ago

    I love them both.

    ...although, the cops have never been called on me at York...

    #31 1 year ago

    Allentown is my favorite show every year.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    I have made more "parking lot" deals at Allentown than York, deals done in advance. Both shows are great IMO. More of the Canadian crowd at Allentown too, which makes getting my favorite beer easier. Thanks cdnpinballer!

    Got you covered buddy!

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from rmarket:

    26 posts and no one has asked the most important question yet. Which show has the better hotels?

    #34 1 year ago

    I always look forward to Allentown's flea market, project games, and any deals or treasures I might find. This is certainly the big show for buying & selling. I got some good buys last year, and my trailer was bursting at the seams.

    I have not had a chance to go to York yet, since it's a little far of a drive. I've seen some of the walk-through videos, and it looks like a nice show.

    Pintastic is another fun show. A good selection of games, and a nice line-up of seminars.

    The show that I run in Saratoga Springs, NY in August is smaller than the other northeast shows, but is growing. There has been a nice selection of games to play, a beginner-friendly pingolf tournament, and some good stuff in the flea market. I'm also adding a film memorabilia exhibit for this year's show with original props & costumes, which should be interesting to see.

    Ivan and Gabe's experience and advice have been invaluable for helping to get this show started.

    #35 1 year ago

    With Allentown, are there tickets for sale online for entrance both for Friday and Saturday? May only go for Friday, but things could change.

    #36 1 year ago

    Haha! At the York Hall right now. Told my wife not to buy the food. She didn’t believe me.
    She ended up throwing half away.

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    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from Playdium:

    With Allentown, are there tickets for sale online for entrance both for Friday and Saturday? May only go for Friday, but things could change.

    I went to the web site but can't find a link to buy tickets online.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from Playdium:

    With Allentown, are there tickets for sale online for entrance both for Friday and Saturday? May only go for Friday, but things could change.

    Buy them at the box office...

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from poppapin:

    Buy them at the box office...

    I’d go Thursday for selection and then Saturday for the best deals. Thursday you have to be a vendor, A flea spot owner, or bring a free play game to be allowed inside.
    Box office has long lines Friday because the GP Can’t enter until noon.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

    I’d go Thursday for selection and then Saturday for the best deals. Thursday you have to be a vendor, A flea spot owner, or bring a free play game to be allowed inside.
    Box office has long lines Friday because the GP Can’t enter until noon.

    About 3 years ago after Ivan got tired of people doing silly stuff they should not have been doing so Ivan started having guards on every door on Thursday (set up day). This changed the show a lot because it is impossible for anyone to get in without a wrist band (vendor or freeplay game people only). That is the way it should be but it sure cut into my Thursday sales.

    Anyway - don't show up Thursday thinking you can just sneak in - that doesn't happen anymore. Last year I had my van and trailer at the door and security still didn't want to let me in until one of Ivan's crew came over and told them I was a vendor and needed to get my trailer to my space. Long story but since I am in the back of the building they want me in and out as quickly as possible and didn't want me in line waiting for my paperwork yet security was doing their job and I wasn't getting in without that wrist band as far as they were concerned.

    I think this was a necessary change but I do miss the "good old days" of just walking in and out on set up day without an issue.

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

    I’d go Thursday for selection and then Saturday for the best deals. Thursday you have to be a vendor, A flea spot owner, or bring a free play game to be allowed inside.
    Box office has long lines Friday because the GP Can’t enter until noon.

    No access till noon on Friday? That hurts if your just going to buy. Is the flea market inside as well?

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from Playdium:

    No access till noon on Friday? That hurts if your just going to buy. Is the flea market inside as well?

    Flea Market is typically almost 100% inside these days. Occasionally one or two people set up outside but that is about the extent of the outside flea market area now.

    #43 1 year ago

    York is in the same situation with the outdoor flea market. It's odd, everyone says they want an outdoor flea market but when they are given a choice, most people take the inside flea market spots. I assume having rain on the York show weekend for 5 or 6 years in a row has something to do with that.

    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    Flea Market is typically almost 100% inside these days. Occasionally one or two people set up outside but that is about the extent of the outside flea market area now.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from rmarket:

    York is in the same situation with the outdoor flea market. It's odd, everyone says they want an outdoor flea market but when they are given a choice, most people take the inside flea market spots. I assume having rain on the York show weekend for 5 or 6 years in a row has something to do with that.

    Vendors typically like outdoor markets better because it is easier to set up but both Allentown & York have a history of so much rain lately it has changed things. Sun is also brutal if it is a hot & sunny day so inside is just easier for the duration of the show but there is something lost when everyone moves inside. Another issue with flea market area is the supply of machines and parts has rapidly dried up over the past several years. So flea markets will keep getting smaller instead of bigger since it has gotten so hard to buy project & parts machines.

    I know from experience how much things have changed. 8 or 10 years ago there were weeks that I picked up a half a dozen machines or more and was averaging a machine coming in about every 4 or 5 days (close to 100 machines a year). Last year I think I picked up a total of around 10 machines and had to pay dearly for those. If vendors can't buy they don't have as much to sell!

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    If vendors can't buy they don't have as much to sell!

    Not true if you are making what you sell!

    -Rob
    -visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my Pinball 2000 H+V video sync combiner kit

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from rmarket:

    York is in the same situation with the outdoor flea market. It's odd, everyone says they want an outdoor flea market but when they are given a choice, most people take the inside flea market spots. I assume having rain on the York show weekend for 5 or 6 years in a row has something to do with that.

    Ever since the fire in 2016 and the squashing of the outdoor bbq tailgating (legally no argument or anything you could do since the Fairgrounds has rules to protect their old wooden buildings) it’s just not the same or FUN like it was. For some it was the best part of the show , grilled burgers and flea market just go together . You run a Great show run very well and I really like the laid back atmosphere.

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

    Ever since the fire in 2016 and the squashing of the outdoor bbq tailgating (legally no argument or anything you could do since the Fairgrounds has rules to protect their old wooden buildings) it’s just not the same or FUN like it was. For some it was the best part of the show , grilled burgers and flea market just go together . You run a Great show run very well and I really like the laid back atmosphere.

    I think that was a sad day for me too. This was part of what the show was about. I'll still support both shows but a piece of me died that day. =( RIP burgers and dogs.

    #48 1 year ago

    The fairgrounds had multiple issues with the outdoor grilling. The open flame near their building was one but another was the liability of what happens if someone would get sick from one of the burgers. The odds of that happening are remote but it is a completely valid concern. Every organization nowadays fears lawsuits. Technically according to their rules you could still do the tailgating thing if you used some sort of grill that didn't have an open flame, allowed the PA health dept to inspect and approve your kitchen, carried a million dollars in liability insurance and had approval from the Fairgrounds.

    As has already been pointed out, flea markets in general have been in decline. The old time operators sitting on large stashes are almost all gone. 20 years ago the flea markets and the back of magazines like Pingame journal were the only places to find the oddball part and there weren't people reproducing parts. Nowadays, you can fire up Ebay and find almost any part.

    Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

    Ever since the fire in 2016 and the squashing of the outdoor bbq tailgating (legally no argument or anything you could do since the Fairgrounds has rules to protect their old wooden buildings) it’s just not the same or FUN like it was. For some it was the best part of the show , grilled burgers and flea market just go together . You run a Great show run very well and I really like the laid back atmosphere.

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