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    Has anyone heard any news on the vendors for 2015? Last year there were very few vendors showed up.

    Paul Noll

    My guess is that there will be as many or fewer than years past. This is due to, as I’ve heard from vendors, the accommodations for them. They do NOT like having to setup shop in the current location. The main complaint is there is no security and little shelter from the weather. I don’t blame them. In my opinion they should be moved back to the larger enclosed and secure lodge. The vendors will not come back till the powers that be understand this and realize that the vendors being there on site IS part of the draw to TSP each year. It’s nice to be able to get a part for a scope or a light or filter close by if one needs to. The vendors are part of the event and better consideration needs to be made for them.
    My 2+ cents worth.

    Jason Adamik

    As much as many vendors love coming to TSP for both the big sales they make and the fact that many are also observers, they can’t afford to risk their in some cases very expensive items or easily destroyed items (such as books, atlases, etc.) to either theft or water/mud damage (as happened with the deluge a couple years back). I think the new bldg is much bigger in area than the old quarters (not sure) but there needs to be some fix for the rare but definitely possible chance of sudden, short duration, heavy downpours that could ruin thousands of dollars of merchandise.

    I haven’t heard vendors or others express concerns about theft, maybe because there have been just one or two instances of it since I started coming in 1987. The most well-known is the supposed theft from a vendor table of an expensive knife with a handle made from meteorite, but I don’t know if this was really confirmed. Another time Al Nagler thought someone took one eyepiece from a display, but, again, I don’t think this was really confirmed. Also, these two examples occurred (if they actually occurred) in the old vendor bldg which is locked when no one is there.


    This year, TSP will have more vendors than last year (and not just one more but more vendors). I think many may be surprised to see who will be there. One will also see a much heavier presence of manufacturing vendors, too, demonstrating some very neat new scopes and technologies.

    The pavilion, has both challenges and opportunities. It is more open to the environment. However, it offers more raw square footage and, consequently, far more flexibility to accommodate different types of vendors. The location is more central to the campus. It is a much better facility than what one will find at other remote star parties. Using this location also solves some problems that the ranch was having when the vendors were hosted in the lodge.

    We are continuing to try and improve this venue and have made some good progress in that regard. The problems with the leaking roof and its general coverage were corrected by the Prude Ranch before last year’s star party. They also corrected some drainage problems both from the roof and on the ground level. TSP also added lighting and fans and will be adding more lighting this year.

    I must point out that security at the pavilion was never complaint I heard from any vendor (and I have spent a great deal of time this past year talking and meeting with vendors and having several frank discussions about vendors at TSP). When the vendors were first moved to the pavilion, we adapted the TSP security system to the facility and adhered to the same lockup procedures we used at the previous venue. When the ranch first told us that we needed to move the vendors to the pavilion, TSP required that the facility would have to be as or more physically secure than the lodge. This was accomplished and the pavilion is quite secure when locked down.

    I know that there has been a lot of speculation about what is going on with the vendors. The answer is, quite a bit. There are also still some things to do (and that will always be the case). The TSP volunteer staff has taken unprecedented steps during this past year to reach out and meet with vendors about improvements, making such improvements where we can, and continuing to maintain the dialogue with the vendors. This is an effort that will continue and will bear fruit.

    David Moody, FRAS

    Jason Adamik

    Good info and nice to hear this, Dave. I also had not heard any concerns about security from vendors, only speculation about what attendees assumed were their thoughts on it. In addition, like I said, there have been very few incidents of theft from vendors or observers at TSP. I mentioned the only two that I ever heard about, and I am not at all sure that those really happened. The meteorite knife incident seemed to be for real (it was the blade that was made from meteorite, not the handle, of course, as I had typed incorrectly). Even on the field where things are exposed all the time and not locked up I just haven’t heard of problems.

    I think the weather issues with the pavilion, if they have been solved satisfactorily, should end any serious issues with its use. I immediately noticed that it was much bigger and of course offers a much easier place to set up than the tighter spaces with narrow hallway in the old lodge. I would think most vendors would like it better. As Dave said, it sure is a lot closer to other locations on the ranch and doesn’t require the long trek up the hill in the heat to get to it. A lot of people drove up to the old lodge, which also just adds to the layers of Prude Dust on eqpt on the upper field.


    This is all good information – I am glad to hear that there will be more vendors this year, and especially glad to hear that there will be some manufacturing vendors there. The presence of good vendors is an important part of a great star party. Thank you, David M. and team, for all of your considerable efforts!


    I do know that the makers of SkySafari and SkyFi will be at TSP starting on Tuesday. They said so on SKySafari group site. Oh is there a list of this years vendors on this website?

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