Southeastern Connecticut home show moving to Mohegan Sun Convention Center

Southeastern Connecticut home show moving to Mohegan Sun Convention Center

Earth Tower Expo & Convention Center

After 37 years at Connecticut College, the Southeastern Connecticut Home & Garden Show will move to Mohegan Sun’s Earth Expo & Convention Center in 2019.

Jenks Productions, the East Hampton company that manages the show, informed vendors of the change in venue last week, promising “a grander, expanded event with more home-related products and services, including additional landscape and gardening businesses.”

The 2019 show is set for Feb. 22-24.

The home show is the latest event to commit to the $80 million Mohegan Sun Expo Center, which last month hosted its first tenant, Barrett-Jackson’s 3rd Annual Northeast Auction of collector cars.

It’s the largest public trade and consumer venue in the state. Some of the bigger shows in the state have moved there already,” Dennis Jenks, president and chief executive officer of Jenks Productions, said Thursday. “I think it’s going to be the No. 1 place in the state to do shows.”

In addition to more than 125,000 square feet of exhibit space, the expo center offers ample parking and ready access to the casino’s offerings, Jenks said.

As friendly and nice as the college was, it was problematic,” he said. “We had to shuttle people (across Route 32) from the campus to the athletic center, where there were only 200 parking spaces, and we had to work around the college’s academic and athletic schedules.”

Early home shows were held in Conn College’s arena, and later ones made use of the fieldhouse as well, Jenks said.

The Southeastern Connecticut Home Show typically has drawn about 200 vendors and thousands of show-goers, a turnout that’s likely to grow in the event’s new location.

In the past 37 years, 90 to 95 percent of our vendors have come from the New London, Norwich and Westerly areas and from as far (west) as New Haven. Now, we’re going to open it up to a few more statewide,” Jenks said. “I think the public is really going to respond to the convenience and the fact that’s there’s so much more going on (at Mohegan Sun).”

Mohegan Sun announced earlier that it had booked some 20 events at the Expo Center through 2019, with many events agreeing to long-term commitments. The Connecticut Marine Trades Association’s Hartford Boat Show, a fixture at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford the past 12 years, will take place at the Expo Center in January.

Jenks Productions produces about 20 trade shows and exhibitions a year throughout the Northeast.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Eastern Connecticut produce the Eastern Connecticut Premier Home Show, which has been held in recent years at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton. It previously was held at Mohegan Sun.

Published July 13. 2018 7:56PM | Updated July 13. 2018 10:03PM

By Brian Hallenbeck   Day staff writer

b.hallenbeck@theday.com