Where can you find the only machine in the world designed exclusively to chop herbs, a pager the size of a pen, a safe capable of holding 45 guns and a unicycle with training wheels?
The Utah Boat, Sports and Travel Show.The annual event at the Salt Palace hasn't been restricted by its name for years. Wedged among the boats and campers are scores of vendors selling products that have nothing to do with sports or travel. Like the Quick n' Brite multipurpose cleaner that can replace all of your spray cleaners, carpet shampoo, upholstery shampoo and fabric stain removers.
Shoppers on a budget can also spend time at the show. If even the price of a jet ski sets you back, how about the "only machine in the world that chops herbs." This hand-held set of five steel blades minces everything from nuts to parsley, and for only $25.
A demonstration of the set, called Hache-Vite, drew an intrigued set of women. That's what its demonstrator, Michel Lerminiau, counts on when he travels across the country to trade shows that have nothing to do with nuts or parsley.
"I was on the front page of the Denver Stock Show magazine in January," Lerminiau said. "All those wives running around with nothing else to do. I sell to them."
Steve Frandsen zeros in on the husbands. The manly husbands. Specifically the manly husband ready to spend up to $1,000 for a safe to put his 45 guns in.
Frandsen, manager of National Security Safe Co., hauled four of his six-foot-tall gun safes to the show and conducted brisk business with passing hunters. The safes may look odd among the sport equipment, but they speak to the heart of the sportsman as much any other product at the show, Frandsen said.
David Williams can't say that. He sold General Telephone pagers from his booth. Not exactly a sporting kind of toy, but that didn't faze Williams. He peddles his goods at the show each year because "there's a crowd of people here."
Where there are people there are sales, Williams believes, even if you're selling something they didn't come to buy. "We turn a pretty good business at this show. In fact, we like this show the best."
But perhaps the most unusual product was the skatebike - a unicycle with two wheels on the back the size of skateboard wheels. Hence, the name skatebike.
"They are a lot easier to ride than a unicycle," said salesman Brad Peterson to a group of middle-aged boat owners.