What a Weekend!
Posted: Nov 12, 2007 11:28am ET
I had just had one of the best weekends on the year. The Las Vegas Big Smoke. I know. I know. How can anyone take a comment like that seriously when it comes from the Executive Editor of Cigar Aficionado? After all, it is our event, and I work for the company that puts it on.
But this is a case where being objective shouldn’t matter. Here’s the rough outline of the weekend. I went with my wife. We had dinner with my favorite cigar makers (basically all of them) on Thursday night. Our table included my favorite Yankee fan, Jose Blanco of La Aurora, Ernesto Perez Carrillo of La Gloria Cubana, Chip Goldeen of Ashton, and Mike Gianinni of La Gloria Cubana, among others. We had a great time, laughing and talking seriously about the SCHIP tax situation, but generally just having a good time.
We relaxed on Friday during the day, soaking up the pleasures that are offered by Las Vegas and the Venetian Hotel, including the Canyon Ranch Spa. The 1st Big Smoke of the weekend kicked off at 6:30 on Friday night and nearly 3000 people showed up during the course of the three hours. Each attendee walked away with at least 32 cigars, they got to drink great spirits and beers and each food from a top Vegas restaurants. What could be so bad about that?
On Saturday, more than 500 people joined the Big Smoke seminars. Over the next few days, you can read detailed coverage about each of the seminars. Based on feedback from the attendees, it was one of our most successful programs ever. That’s what I thought, but I am only repeating what others told me. Big Smoke No. 2 of the weekend was Saturday night, and again, about 3000 people enjoyed the scene.
Sunday’s lifestyle seminars were a big hit too. At 9:30 that morning, which is amazingly early after three days in Vegas, the room was packed with people ready to sample Charlie Palmer’s breakfast. The Roll Your Own seminar was successful as always, and although I left before the end of Jack Bettridge’s single malt Scotch seminar, I’ve been told people hung around for a long time after its official end to sample all the wares.
So, come back frequently to the web site this week. We’ll have extensive coverage of the weekend, from reports on each seminar to photographs. And there’s the single most important reason that I’m writing this blog today: You really should make plans to come to next year’s Big Smoke. There’s nothing like it.
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