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Commentary: Learning in Las Vegas

5 Aug 2013

Here are ten things I took away from this year’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas:

1. There seems to be no limit to how large a cigar ring gauge can be.

Big Bull 760

2. Altadis and General are committed to maintaining their positions as industry giants.

La Gloria Cubana 2013 Trunk Show

3. Selling cigars is hard work.

4. Sam Leccia is still a rock star in the industry.

5. Retailers want to meet with manufacturers to talk about cigars, not just prices.

Retailers at the Boutique Blends IPCPR Booth

6. I’ll never understand why humidor makers continue to use analog hygrometers.

7. Lots of folks want to be in the cigar business.

8. Print isn’t dead in the tobacco industry. More than a half-dozen magazines had booths.

9. The brands assembled in the House of Emilio make up quite an impressive collection.

10. Class and company size are sometimes related, sometimes not.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

6 Responses to “Commentary: Learning in Las Vegas”

  1. Ken Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    Point #6
    Because the analog version is cheap, does not require batteries, and is "reasonably" accurate. I have one in an old humidor (20+ years) that is only a couple of points off. Close enough for me. I have a battery powered one in the other humidor that I have to change the battery in every year and calibrate it at least twice a year. If you put the analog ones thru a calibration test and mark the face then you can be reasonably watch your humidity.

    • George E. Monday, August 5, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      I realize that the analog hygrometers are generally cheaper and, sure, if you're talking about a $50 humidor I can understand it. But why use one in a $700 or $1,200 humidor? To me, it's like making a luxury automobile in 2013 and not utilizing computer technology (Duesenberg didn't, right?) or making a refrigerator/freezer these days that isn't self-defrosting. I might add that I have the same opinion of the inclusion of floral foam in humidors.

      • dave102 Monday, August 5, 2013 at 9:02 am #

        I don't care about analog vs. digital in terms of accuracy. I just don't want another thing that needs its batteries changed. Of course, I don't even have a hygrometer. I use the Boveda packs and change them out when they don't feel as squishy as they started out. Of course, I live in Houston, and humidity isn't usually a problem.

  2. George Edmonson Monday, August 5, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    You both make interesting comments. One thing I learned talking to the Patricks in Las Vegas is that one of the most popular older posts on the Stogie Guys site is the salt test explanation. I think it reflects that smokers, particularly newer ones, are concerned about maintaining proper humidity levels. This also seems supported by comments on many forums. For me, including analog hygrometers, particularly cheaply made ones, just increases their anxiety over the issue. Granted, we're all sick of changing batteries but my hygrometer requires it a lot less frequently than, say, my wireless mouse.

    • Ken Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:12 am #

      If I did not have to go through a re-calibration every time I changed batteries, it would not be a bother. But the calibration is a PITA. The computer mouse battery does need it's battery changed more often, but does not require re-calibration, so not a big deal.

      I personally think the humidity topic on various forums has gotten somewhat anal. People are TOO concerned if the humidity varies by 1 or 2 points. Ridiculous. Yes, there is are good reasons to maintain a somewhat constant temperature and humidity,

      And my newer $50 humidor performs just a well as my 20+ year old $200 humidor so I don't think there is any reason to dump the analog for a digital.

      • George E. Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 8:09 am #

        Ken – I agree completely with you about obsessing over relatively small changes in humidity levels. In my experience, cigars aren't exactly delicate flowers. Of course, this comes from a guy who, as a newbie, was afraid to clip the head of a cigar for fear of unraveling it so I guess I should understand obsession, especially in the beginning.