Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 14 July 2006

User Rating: / 1

clubs and organizationsrtda 2006
special events
Some final thoughts from the 2006 RTDA. Some general thoughts and observations after having a few days to think about our time at the 2006 RTDA show in Las Vegas. Top25Cigar and Club Stogie continue to gain acceptance by cigar manufacturers and retailers alike. In other words, instead of just tolerating us, people actually want to talk to us. Okay, that may be a bit aggressive...let's just say they tolerate us without calling security. Tommy Lee needs more tattoos. Business seemed to be good for all the cigar makers we talked to. Many had larger booths this year. The big are getting bigger. Show attendance was up slightly. If hot women sold cigars, Heavenly Cigars would be the top selling brand bar none. Every company didn’t have a new cigar to release, but there were enough to keep cigar smokers busy until the RTDA next year. Those that weren’t releasing new cigars were the companies that have enough of an issue keeping there regular lines around. More manufacturers are releasing mixed filler and long filler bundle cigars for the $3 retail price point. Bundles, bundles, bundles. The older you get the more you have to hit the restroom. There is much concern over the fight to defeat California’s Proposition 86 tobacco tax increase. A presentation by Philip Morris revealed a strategy to defeat the proposition by billing it as an unfair consumer tax rather than a tobacco tax initiative. There were more new cigar companies than in the recent past. Startups are blending themselves and letting the big guys roll for them. Pepin Garcia is the hottest of the new cigar makers. Consuming 5 cigars and 6 Mojitos in a 4 hour period provides a unique state of mind. Many manufacturers have moved towards making medium to full bodied cigars rather than just make the strongest cigars possible. The CA booth appeared mostly empty every time we passed by. Shanken has a hairpiece…(just kidding Marv!) Las Vegas is one of the hottest places on earth in July, in fact it isn’t even “Earth worthy” in the description of its heat…more like Venus. The flavored cigar market continues to expand. There are a growing number of manufacturers making cigars in Costa Rica. Ron Shibata is living proof to dispel the stereotype that all Japanese know how to use a camera. (-; Since most cigar companies are family owned and operated, the next generation of management and ownership continue to take more responsibility for the operations. The over under on how many days you can spend in Vegas before wearing yourself out is 5. This trip you should have bet the under. Thanks for reading. Paul Shoberg and Rob Shibata

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