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Hi, I am planning on going to my first York meet this April. Just moved to North Carolina from Hawaii and would like some info about the meet. I am planning on driving up and would like to know about Hotels in the area, which is the closest, which one is recommended ? I am going to join the TCA and then register for the event. Any and all info will help. Thanks.

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Read Clem's primer found here:

Pretty much all you need to know.

I will add the forum has a dinner get-together on Thursday starting around 5:30 pm at the Quaker Steak and Lube on Kenneth Rd.  Just show up.  We pretty much take up the entire back of the restaurant.

There is also a forum breakfast on Thursday at the Round the Clock Diner on Rt 30 beginning at 7:30 am.   Look for Dr. Peter Condro's thread a few weeks before.


Last edited by Greg Houser

Hotels fill up fast; esp the closer ones. But even those that are a bit farther out are an easy drive to the fairgrounds.   Wear some comfortable shoes w good support - lots of walking.  If you get pre-registered and get your admission badge in the mail early, you're good to get into any hall when u arrive.  If you don't then you're first stop will have to be at the silver hall to pick up you're badge and info materials.  Soooo much to see. So many great vendors and members to talk to. You're gonna have a great time. 



Check previous York threads regarding hotels.  Here are my main tips...  1) Join a hotel loyalty program for your preferred chain (free); you'll get the best rates (AARP rate, if you're a member, is usually the best) and have more recourse if there's a problem, unlike going through aggregators such as Priceline.  2) Make reservations that can be canceled without penalty - plans can change and emergencies can arise.  3) Read hotel reviews carefully - there are posts by folks that stayed at the York Super 8, as it had low rates (a dead giveaway) and last-minute availability (another red flag) - they weren't happy.  4) Book now.

Plan to go to events that occur before / during the meet.  My favorites are the Red Lion train club's open house on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and the bandit meets.  There will also be threads about OGR get-togethers. 

Having gone the first time this fall, here is my 5c worth:

1)Try and stay multiple days, it is much too big for one day. In my case I live close enough (like 3 hours), that I could go there thursday, spend the day there, spend the night and go the next day and be able to go home.

2)Book the hotel early, it was hard this fall when attendance was down because of covid and whatnot, so book it early. There are a number of good hotels there, if you look at the York forum on here, you will see what other people wrote. I stayed at the Wyndham suites, which had the added advantage I could walk to the Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant where people go Thursday night (literally next door).  Almost any of the hotels are easily accessible to the York fairgrounds.

3)The fairgrounds are big, they are spread out on a pretty big site, so expect to walk a lot. I didn't notice any kind of shuttle things (some places use like golf carts and the like). I enjoyed it, got a lot of good exercise.

4)Agree with others, get your credentials in the mail well in advance, in case they are slowed down or have a lot of people ordering. Having them day one means you walk right in, the on site registration in the silver hall can be to say the least chaotic, especially early on day 1.

5)Agree about cash, they have ATM machines there but better off having enough for whatever you might want. In the dealer hall a lot of the dealers have card access, but in the member halls def not common, though again dealers there who were tca members were taking cards in some cases..but better to be prepared. However, the ATM machines may or may not have cash, so you may be better off bringing it with you (and yes, one of my wishes would be a way where you could universally use cards there, I suspect it would increase sales a lot).

6)As with any train show, if you are looking for something that isn't particularly unique or hard to find, be careful with prices, like other shows you can find everything from price gouging to 'what a bargain'. Obviously if it is something you haven't been able to find, and it is a price you are willing to pay, may be wise to buy it (and yes, unless otherwise noted, making offers is generally accepted I found, as long as it was reasonable). The size of the event makes buying more common stuff at a good price easier, but can make looking for more rare stuff harder, by the time you look through the other vendors in that hall and the other ones ,and then come back, it could be gone.

7)Talk to people, I think the most fun I had, besides some of the stuff I bought, was getting to talk to the vendors and other people there was a lot of fun, too, I thoroughly enjoyed the people I got to talking to. And you never know, for some reason I fell in love with a standard gauge engine and took it home, go figure

Again, there is a whole area on this forum dedicated to the York show, it is worthwhile reading it, things like hotels and other things are talked about in the usual depth .

Bring twice as much money as you think you could ever possibly spend - - - - - then double it.

If it is your first time ever going to York, then take three times your maximum spending limit.  You may find things not on your list or radar, at such a good price that it makes sense to pick them up also.

Managing your time during the train show hours is very important.   You don't want to waste time trying to find more cash during show hours.   Same thing for food, eat a big breakfast and have some snacks or fruit in the car.  You can drop off your purchases, grab a snack and eat while walking to the next bldg.

Wear layered clothing you can strip off or add while at the car.

And if you don't spend all the money, you  can always take it back home.

Last edited by aussteve

Heed the advice about bringing cash, budgeting your time, and taking time to talk to people.

If you see an item that you want and the price is fair, buy it.  If you decide to think about it and come back later, it will be gone.

When buying from a dealer, ask if there is a discount for cash vs. using a check or credit card.  Most dealers will discount to "pay the tax" if you use cash.

Cash talks on all 3 days especially on Saturday as you will be signs like 50% off tables, make me an offer as I don’t want to take it home, etc.

But if you see something you want and the price is reasonable, don’t snooze as you will lose it. It will be gone or you will not remember where you saw it in which hall. Buy it then!

Last edited by Ted Bertiger

But if you see something you want and the price is reasonable, don’t snooze as you will lose it. It will be gone or you will not remember where you saw it in which hall. Buy it then!

I carry a pen and a single piece of paper folded in half three times.  That divides the sheet of paper into 8 sections.   I use a different section for each hall.   On items I'm just interested in or might want to see again, I jot down the table number, brief description and the price.  If the owner is at the table, their table number will be on their badge.  If not the table number will be on a white sticker under their table covering.  If not just jot down the aisle letter or number.

Then after I've seen all the halls I sit down somewhere and review what I want to go see again.

Of course if it's a good deal, or hard to find, just buy it on the spot.  Have a good idea of what the things on your  list are selling for before you go.

Over the next six months after a York, it's much easier to regret paying 10% too much for something, than to bemoan not buying it when you should have.

Last edited by aussteve
@aussteve posted:

Over the next six months after a York, it's much easier to regret paying 10% too much for something, than to bemoan not buying it when you should have.

Very true aussteve

Spending a couple extra bucks is much better than missing an opportunity to enjoy and play with a purchase. One thing I've learned is after you are happy with a purchase don't continue to look at the pricing on similar items on other tables - not productive!

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