The history of the St. Louis International Cartridge Show (SLICS) began in Oak Brook, Illinois, a western village suburb of Chicago. The greater Chicago area is large, and the name “Chicagoland” was coined to include events, etc. in this geographic area centered around Chicago. In 1979, Bob Strauss, Doug Culver, and Denny Deniston moved the Chicagoland International Cartridge Show (CICS) they founded from the Holiday Inn, Mundelein, Illinois (another village suburb of Chicago), to the Drake Oak Brook hotel, Oak Brook, Illinois, where the show grew and was very successful. In 1985, the three founders were ready to pass the show to another manager and George Murphy stepped up. Murphy ran the show at the Drake Oak Brook until 1998, when he decided it was time to pass the show to someone else.
Murphy approached Mel Carpenter, who agreed to replace Murphy as manager/promoter of the show. Unfortunately for the cartridge show, the ownership of the Drake Oak Brook hotel had changed. The state of Illinois employee retirement fund was the new owner of the hotel, and the fund had no interest in anything having to do with guns or ammunition. During the 1999 post-show review, the Drake Oak Brook staff suggested that perhaps the show might be more comfortable at a new location.
Carpenter put out the word for help in finding a new location and Don Johan suggested the Henry VIII hotel in St. Louis. After looking at other venues in St. Louis, Carpenter settled on the Henry VIII, a hotel which met all the criteria for the cartridge show, in 2000. In addition, St. Louis is a centrally-located destination with an international airport. However, the Henry VII was old and aging, and its property was about to be absorbed by the St. Louis International Airport for a runway extension. So, after two years at the Henry VIII, the show was moved to its current location, the Renaissance St. Louis Airport hotel, which has proven to be the perfect partner with the show, now named the St. Louis International Cartridge Show (SLICS). Carpenter managed the SLICS from 2000 until 2007, when Vic Engle agreed to assume leadership of the show. From the beginning in 2002, the partnership between the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel and the SLICS has been outstanding. The show fills a gap in the week before Easter Sunday and the hotel provides rooms for the IAA Board of Directors meeting and the Thursday night Seminars, plus the Friday night buffet and live cartridge auction.
Since then, the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, and SLICS have continued to provide the world’s best in a cartridge-collecting event in a luxury hotel venue. Everybody looks forward to many more years to come.
St. Louis International Cartridge Show
The world’s largest gathering of cartridge collectors, researchers and professionals