Guns, spas and landscaping

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An area that had been dead as a doornail for several years is getting new attention with the opening of the Event Center at Rustic Hills, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd.

At noon Thursday, a ribbon cutting will be held for the center, which already has hosted a gun show, a spa and sauna show and soon will hold a home and landscaping event.

The site sits amid a vacant shopping area that used to be occupied by an Albertson's grocery and Long's Drugs. Just south of that, TJ Maxx, Shoe Carnival and Ross have all fled, hollowing out the once-thriving retail area.

But the gloom of vacant buildings is being lifted by refurbishment of the Rustic Hills event center, brought to life by the closing of the Phil Long Expo Center, which was sold to a church.

A shot of a typical home show from RJ Promotions website.
  • A shot of a typical home show from RJ Promotions' website.

Missouri-based RJ Promotions, Inc., which had run the Phil Long center, worked with local contractors in the last few months to update the building northeast of Academy and Palmer Park boulevards. The facility has nearly 45,000 square feet of exhibitor space and 2,000 free parking spaces, the company said in a press release.

“After the sale of Phil Long Expo Center, our primary focus was to secure a facility for the consumer shows we have held for the past five years in the Colorado Springs market," RJ Promotions’ CEO, Kevin Hummer says in the release. "Acquiring this new facility awards us an opportunity to not only have a facility for our vendors and our shows, but to also provide a venue for other consumer shows and conventions in the Springs area."

The firm's Home and Landscaping Show will be held there this weekend, and an RV, Sport & Outdoor Show comes to town March 25-27. Other promotions are planned.

“The big advantage we have when it comes to managing an event center is that we know what exhibitors and show management companies want in a facility. We have hosted consumer shows throughout the U.S. in facilities spanning from 35,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet," Hummer says. "We have put on hundreds of shows for nearly 20 years and worked side-by-side with the management of those facilities. We appreciate what goes on behind the scenes and what is expected of the facility management.”

For more information, contact Kevin Hummer (816) 387-7502 or kevinh@rjpromotions.com

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