“Enthusiasms, enthusiasms...What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy?”– Robert DeNiro as Al Capone in “The Untouchables”

While the sentiments of that scene – and the wholly unsportsmanlike use of a Louisville Slugger immediately following – may not make for the smoothest of transitions, finding a memorable movie quote with the word “enthusiasm” in it in is harder than you’d think. And DeNiro’s just cool. But I digress.

Unlike last year’s somewhat hesitant endorsements of a brighter tomorrow, exhibitors and attendees alike at the Surfaces Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas were unabashedly enthusiastic as to the prospects, potential and opportunities 2013 has to offer.

The short version? People were happy, excited to finally feel like it’s time to get off the bench and jump back in the game.

“Retailers are telling us consumers are coming back into their stores,” Mannington Mills President of Residential Business Kim Holm said. “Our business in January was good, our fourth quarter was good, so we’re pretty bullish on 2013. We’re excited with what’s going on in the industry and the economy.”

A couple of quick post-show shout outs: congratulations to Farrell Gerber and everyone at Tile Redi, the winners of the Surfaces 2013 Best New Product in the New Product Marketplace (sponsored by Floor Trends and Tile Magazine.) And hats off to Warren Lampert, senior vice president and CFO of Tile Outlets of America in Atlanta, Ga., who, after downloading the Floor Trends+ app and entering our special Surfaces registration giveaway, walked away with a brand new iPad mini! Congratulations!

And no, the show wasn’t just about contests and giveaways (though Laticrete’s football toss did see an exceptionally steady stream of contestants of both the gifted and the not-so-much variety, athletically speaking). Business was done, deals were struck and networking went on seemingly around the clock. And while I’m sure it wasn’t all wine and roses, again, an undeniable feeling of enthusiasm seemed to permeate almost everything and everyone.

This isn’t a business of handouts; the retailers, contractors, distributors and manufacturers who’ve weathered the past few years understand that better than most. But for those who do their homework, who pound the pavement long after the competition has gone to bed, who maintain and sharpen their focus and resolve to seize opportunities as they arise…2013 may well be your year to shine.