Monday is the opening day of the IPCPR show and it starts with a breakfast meeting. The buffet is quite generous and the coffee was hot and in good supply. Oddly there were no ashtrays on the tables, and I didn’t see a lot of folks smoking. Plenty of time for that. Some of the highlights of the meeting were Joe Rowe’s retirement as Executive Director and William Spann being appointed his replacement as CEO. All of the important folks at the IPCPR were recognized and awards were given. The IPCPR does a lot in the way of lobbying to try to keep our beloved hobby from being crushed. Every chance you get, please visit the IPCPR website and use their tool to send a letter to your representatives. I’ve put a widget on the right sidebar that will take you right there. It’s especially important to contact them regarding FDA regulation and remind them that in addition to regulation crushing the cigar business in the US, closing small businesses, it will decimate the economies of the cigar producing countries who will turn to us for aid. This has been a public service announcement.
After the business portion of the meeting, the guest speaker was introduced. Ron White is a brand ambassador for Zino Platinum and entertained us with his humor. OK, I’m understating this as he was fricken hysterical. We got a 15 minute show which was packed with non-PC humor. He’s a funny, funny guy who loves cigars and is very passionate about them. He could be seen walking the show floor later in the day, and did a meet and greet at the Davidoff booth on the following day. It was a very cool breakfast.
Breakfast wrapped up and everyone gathered at the entrance to the exhibit hall waiting to enter. I quickly found out that “media” was allowed in ahead of the retailers so I set up next to Jerry Cruz of Stogie Review and took the very boring “stampede” video which I posted last week. It’s always quite impressive to see the waves of humanity entering the exhibit space, which, I might add, it enormous. I took a quick wander around the perimeter and spent the day talking to people and getting little videos which I will present to you throughout the coming months. The bigger booths seemed the busiest on day one, and there seemed to be a lot more people here than there were in New Orleans last year. Drew Estate‘s booth was packed for almost the entire 3 days I was at the show, and General Cigar, Alec Bradley, Davidoff, Oliva, Altadis, Perdomo, Fuente, to name a few, always seemed to be busy.
Today’s video is a brief chat with Bill Paley of La Palina Cigars.
By the way, I had a relaxing afternoon yesterday with my wife, an Oja Connecticut Destacado and a bottle of Reeds’s Ginger Beer in my in-laws pool. It was a wonderful way to beat the 100+ degree heat here in PA. I hope to get there today and repeat the experience.
Until the next time,