ReefStock 2014 was a great success for the Central Colorado region and it should give the local community a nice springboard from which to gain momentum leading up to the big conference at the end of the summer. It was a really fine line to walk to promote ReefStock 2014 adequately, without absolutely blowing up the maximum room occupancy but with over 700 attendees during the weekend despite the 104 car pileup on a major highway, we did alright.
We were proud to have just 24 booths at this year’s ReefStock, due to the space constraints at the Downtown Aquarium, but hard core hobbyists came out of the woodwork for it, and so did some great companies. All vendors coming to ReefStock are veterans of the show by now, but they are all still forewarned that this show is elbow to elbow, even the booths are not separated at all, in fact they overlapped in quite a few places. Nevertheless we still managed to pack in a great show in a cozy venue, right next to a public aquarium and a reef-themed bar and lounge.
If you came to ReefStock 2014 looking for frags, we hope you brought enough moola because there were corals aplenty. Coral Junkie locked down the Ricordeas and homegrown coral frags, AquaticArt’s SPS and Acro frags were pretty much untouchable. ReefKoi, Gonzo and The Coral Shop all brought the coral frag heat, and Mind Blowing Corals definitely blew it out with an amazing assortment of second-day releases for Sunday’s attendees.
Ocean’s Paradise is a multi-year exhibitor at ReefStock, driving down from North Dakota every time with a cornucopia of corals, frags, captive bred fish and anemones, you never know what they are goina bring, and local wholesaler Aqua medic Live was bending the rules a little bit by offering some first-pick corals at the retail level. And if you were looking for zoanthids, Zoanthids.com and Reef Deep Aquatics were displaying quite a big spread of the coveted polyps.
Unsurprisingly, one of the big draws of ReefStock is our annual spread of raffle prizes with contributions from the biggest names in the hobby. We had everything in the raffle from pumps to LEDs, additives to LEDs, sumps and LEDs, a fully loaded tank with LEDs, did we mention there were LEDs in the ReefStock raffle? It’s so much fun to watch the flurry of excitement as attendees decide which boxes to put their raffle tickets in, and especially the jubilation that comes when the winners are announced. There was a definite shriek when the winner of the Radion G3 was called out, as well as the gorgeous fully loaded mini reef set up from Fluval Sea.
Of course, by and large the best thing about ReefStock, and any other reef show for that matter is the people who come. It’s so nice to have a great cause to bring people together from all over the region, and far flung areas of the country, just to come break bread about corals, aquariums and reef gear. Events like ReefStock helps to bring together like minded people who end up working together on aquarium products, helping each other out with tank builds and so much more.
We want to personally thank everyone who came to ReefStock, who was a part of the show, who volunteered to help with various duties, our sponsors and raffle contributors. It takes a village to raise a child, and a reef show, and know this: ReefStock was just a warm up to MACNA 2014. Many of us on the MACNA committee have been involved with ReefStock for years and we definitely took the time to trial some new ideas this year to make sure the world’s biggest reef and marine aquarium conference goes off flawlessly. If you missed ReefStock, be sure to earmark MACNA on your calendar because us Rocky Mountain boys know how to pull off a reef show.
We’ll see you again at the Mile High city August 29th, 2014.