GPAA: Gold Prospectors to Host Gold and Treasure Expo in Las Vegas April 26-27

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Gold Prospectors Association of America: The GPAA will hold its Gold and Treasure Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. at the South Point Hotel & Casino April 26-27. Learn how to mine and pan for real gold from experienced gold prospectors at this event, which is open to the public.

GPAA Gold and Treasure Expo attendees learn to pan for real gold!

GPAA Gold and Treasure Expo attendees learn to pan for real gold!

The GPAA has brought back the Alaska Gold Expedition giveaways in 2014 — two at each expo. Each trip is good for one person for two weeks and includes airfare to Nome, Alaska.

The Gold Prospectors Association of America is headed to Las Vegas to host the Gold and Treasure Expo at the South Point Hotel & Casino, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89183

Executive Director of Operations Dominic Ricci said the GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos were started decades ago by GPAA founder George Massie to introduce people to prospecting and show them how and where to find their own gold.

“We encourage everyone to bring their family and friends because there is no better place to learn how to find your own gold and experience panning for yourself. There is plenty of fun and activities for all ages,” Ricci said.

Besides the fun factor, the purpose of the expos is to remind everyone that gold prospecting and small-scale mining are still a way of life for hundreds of thousands of people across the country and an important part of American culture, history and the economy.

Gold prospecting has become increasingly popular in the last few years with spiking gold prices and a struggling economy. The growing interest in gold is reflected in not only the longest-airing prospecting TV show “Gold Fever,” hosted by GPAA owner Tom Massie, but several new gold mining reality TV shows.

“We have introduced a few new features for the 2014 Gold and Treasure Expo season,” said GPAA Trade Show Manager Gary Sturgill.

The most exciting new addition is the complimentary GPAA Gold Panning Zone, where all attendees can experience gold panning using real gold.

“For those expo attendees looking to get hands-on gold panning experience, the new GPAA Gold Panning Zone is the place to be,” Sturgill said. “Not many shows allow participants a chance to get a gold panning lesson from an experienced prospector using real gold. The Panning Zone is made up of 42 feet of water troughs manned by seasoned prospectors who know everything there is to know about panning for gold.”

Each year, the expos have something new and exciting to offer with the constant advancement in mining equipment and supplies, said Sturgill.

“Although this is a gold prospecting show and not a gold jewelry show, there will be lots of jewelry as well,” he said.

For decades, the GPAA has been traveling across the U.S. with some of the most well-known and trusted equipment dealers, giving people interested in gold prospecting an opportunity to learn about the products that benefit them in the field.

“Dozens of mining equipment vendors and manufacturers are to ready to share their secrets of gold prospecting with you,” Sturgill said.

Two manufacturers, Gold Cube and Jobe Wholesale, have signed on to be part of the Hands-On Prospecting Experience. Two different size concentrate buckets containing real gold for this experience can be purchased in advance at or at the GPAA booth at the expo.

“The GPAA has brought back the Alaska Gold Expedition giveaways in 2014 — two at each expo. Each trip is good for one person for two weeks and includes airfare to Nome, Alaska,” Sturgill said.

Winning ticket holders and others who decide to sign up for the Alaska Gold Expedition will visit the GPAA’s famous Cripple River Mining Camp, a popular summer prospecting destination on the shores of the Bering Sea, 12 miles from Nome. The 2,300-acre property and camp offers the best in gold prospecting adventure.

“All Gold and Treasure Expo attendees over 18 years of age have an opportunity to win this unforgettable and exciting adventure. With admission to the expos, attendees are given a raffle ticket for the drawing to be held at the end of each day of each show,” Sturgill said.

Thousands of dollars worth of prizes, including metal detectors, sluice boxes and concentrators, will be given away to lucky participants.

The Gold and Treasure Expo in Las Vegas will be hosted by a GPAA chapter based in Hemet, Calif. Chapter President Arnold Shields and members of the Hemet Valley Prospectors are thrilled about the new features and encourage everyone young and old to attend the expo.

“The expos give GPAA chapter members an opportunity to meet newcomers who are interested in gold prospecting, metal detecting and treasure hunting,” Shields said. “It’s been our goal to reach out and bring in young people to teach them about gold prospecting and show them the love we have for the outdoors.”

Local GPAA chapters are often invited by schools, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, other youth groups and organizers of local fairs and community events to demonstrate gold panning and share their knowledge of gold mining history and heritage.

Besides the Hemet chapter, several other GPAA chapters from California, Nevada and other areas of the country will be represented at the expo.

“Our club has participated in many outings and events initiated by the GPAA,” said Shields. “We’re a really active chapter.”

When it comes to the success and popularity of the new GPAA Gold Panning Zone, Shields is convinced this new interactive feature will “pan out” for all involved.

“We’re all about teaching people gold panning methods,” he said.

Shields said there will plenty of GPAA-member volunteers on hand to man the panning troughs at the expo.

“Everybody is really enthused about being chosen as the host chapter for the Las Vegas Expo. We’re all excited about it,” he said.

Proceeds from the major prize raffle will go in part to Public Lands for the People and Boy Scouts of America, Troop 310 in Hemet. The lion’s share will go to the non-profit Hemet Valley Prospectors GPAA chapter.

Shields, who was an Alaska Gold Expedition participant in the summer of 2012, can’t say enough about his trip-of-a-lifetime experience.

“I was on top of the world! I got to meet some really wonderful people, the GPAA hosts and the whole Alaska Gold Expedition crew. It meant a lot to me and, believe me, if anyone wants to talk about Nome, I could talk all day about it.”

For those who decide to become new GPAA members, there are plenty of GPAA mining claims in the area to explore. Nationally, the GPAA has more than 350 claims across the country where members can prospect and mine for their own gold. The gold is theirs to find and keep.

Another feature for young attendees is the Scavenger Hunt. As they enter the show, each child will receive a Scavenger Hunt card with eight color photos of the items painted in gold and hidden around the expo in vendors’ booths. Once the kids have found and gotten a stamp on all eight items, they can turn in their completed cards at the GPAA booth, where they will be entered in a drawing for a Junior Panning Kit at the end of both days of the weekend show.

GPAA Executive Director of Development Kevin Hoagland, a seasoned prospector and metal detectorist, has taken a lead role in the seminar series this year with a “back to the past” theme. Guest speakers will include nationally recognized speakers who will share their knowledge of gold prospecting, gem and treasure hunting and artifact recovery. Local experts will also be on hand to help attendees gain a better understanding of regional geology as well as tips and tricks for working these grounds.

“During the seminars, participants will get a chance to ask questions directly to many of the top small-scale mining manufacturers about their mining equipment and accessories,” Hoagland said.

The 2014 GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos are open to the public. Admission is $5 for adults. There is no charge for children under 12. Each paid attendee will receive a 14-inch GPAA Gold Catcher Gold Pan and a copy of “Gold Prospectors,” the GPAA’s national magazine, a total value of $13.99. Also, the first 100 paid attendees will receive a free vial with real gold. For more information about the 2014 GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos and pre-registration, visit

To join the GPAA or Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association, go to

Upcoming GPAA Gold and Treasure Expos:

Las Vegas, Nev. — April 26-27, 2014
South Point Hotel & Casino
9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89183

Puyallup, Wash. — May 10-11, 2014
Puyallup Fair and Events Center
110 9th Ave. SW, Puyallup, WA 98371
(253) 845-1771

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Brad Jones

Dominic Ricci
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