Written by Puff Staff

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

User Rating: / 1

2007 rtdaclubs and organizations
special events
The final day of the 2007 RTDA is summarized.



You’re probably wondering why it took us so darn long to put up this final installment of the 2007 RTDA show.  Frankly, so are we.  Good news, we think we have figured it out, bad news, we think we have figured it out.


This year’s show was simply not that exciting.  No offense intended at the fine folks at the RTDA that put the show together, but the combination of Houston in August and impending industry threatening taxation dropped a massive cloud over the entire show.  It was dead.  The normal first day stampede of attendees never materialized, there were no problems getting into any of the events, lunch areas were never crowded, just not the same RTDA that we have seen over the last 6 years.


We have not gotten any official attendance figures, but nobody we spoke to said it was well attended.  The big guys had their normal amount of traffic, but there were smaller booths that went virtually unvisited.  Also, there were booth owners who simply didn’t show up.  We’re not talking about nobodies either.  Both Bucanero and Palio were not in their booths, or better said, didn’t use the both space allocated to them.  There were many others we happened by missing.  Las Vegas next year should help with attendance, the hammer though is what happens in the taxation arena.


A few more highlights from the show:


La Tradicion Cubana introduced two new lines, "JML 1902" a full body all Dominican filler and binder with a nice dark PA wrapper and the first cigar brand out of their new factory.  Also "El Botin Dominicano" the second new brand out of the Dominican Republic with all Dominican filler and binder sporting two options of wrapper,  Brazil or Indonesia.


We also want to pass on our condolences to “The Mad Scientist” and owner of La Tradicion Cubana, Luis Sanchez.  Luis’s mother passed away suddenly the first day of the show.  Me missed talking to one of the industry’s biggest characters.


That’s it folks…we know, not the best coverage.  Being perfectly honest, this show was a shadow of prior RTDA’s.  We understand the RTDA tries very hard to support those cities that have not imposed draconian smoking laws, and for that we commend them.  Houston in August though is a tough sell.  With all the pressures on the retailer’s profit margins these days, it’s hard to justify paying hotel and airfare for the privilege to buy cigars at special prices that any manufacturer will ultimately make available to you even if you don’t attend the show.


We left the show wondering if there was any value in Top25Cigar covering the show any more, and that bummed us out.  I think our coverage articles this year add credence to the question.  As people passionate about cigars, and spending their own personal monies to attend, well, it’s hard when you see the passion waning. 


Here’s hoping next year will be different.  Las Vegas has a tendency to soften any issues with desire to attend. 


Thanks for reading. 


–Paul and Rob

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