Smoking Big in Las Vegas

I landed yesterday in Las Vegas for our Big Smoke, and I wasted no time getting started Vegas style. After a long flight, I was hungry and ready for a cigar, so I dumped my bags at the Venetian Hotel and went straight to the Forums Shops at Caesars’ Palace.

I grabbed a great lunch at Spago, washed down by an Italian red, then headed around the corner to Casa Fuente. It was as if a mini Big Smoke was going on there, with most of the tables full of revelers puffing away and taking in the scenery. I sat down, lit up a Montecristo Petit Edmundo and ordered a drink.

The Big Smoke. It feels good.

Later that night, we hosted a dinner for the cigarmakers who are taking part in the show. With the new smoking rules in Las Vegas, we had it outside, but it was a gorgeous night for outdoor smoking with mild temperatures and a clear sky. We ate at the patio of Bouchon in the Venetian, the Tomas Keller restaurant.

Most of the cigar industry was there, and there’s no way I can remember them all: The Fuentes (Carlos Sr. and Carlos Jr., and Wayne  Suarez, and others from the company); Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Sherwin Seltzer, Mike Giannini from General Cigar; Jorge Padrón; Rocky Patel; Chip Goldeen from Ashton; the Turrents from Mexico, makers of Te Amo; Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley; Gary Hyams and Jon Huber from CAO; Joe Chiusano of Cusano Cigars; Gene Arganese, founder of Arganese cigars; Ron Reinders of Dunhill; Charlie Toraño; Jose Blanco; George Rico of Gran Habano….it was a huge list, and there were many others.

We puffed before and after dinner—I smoked an Ashton VSG. It was only the start of a long weekend of smoking.

Tonight it’s the first Big Smoke evening, and tomorrow is when the seminars start. Time to take in some of this great Vegas weather and get ready for the long weekend.
michael albo califonia November 10, 2007 7:08pm ET
So when is a big smoke going to come to california? I would love to attend one.
DAVE Savona November 10, 2007 8:21pm ET
We stopped going to California years ago--with California's smoking laws, it's just too difficult.Vegas is only a few hours away from L.A. There are loads of people here from California. If I can fly all the way from New York, you can make it! Hope to see you next year.
Marc Ille Danville/CA November 12, 2007 1:09am ET
David,Thanks again for a great weekend. It was a thrill to meet you, Gordon, Marvin, Jack and the rest. Getting to shake the hands of the best of the best in the business such as the Fuente family, Jorge Padron, Lito Gomez and Charlie Torano (just to name a few) was indeed a thrill. I was here for the full weekend package. I met many interesting people. I gained a new appreciation for the artists who roll cigars (the roll your own seminar truly humbled me after going through 4 wrappers and ending up with what looked like a piece of brown rope).Cigar smokers have a brotherhood (and sisterhood). While at the bar after the event I was watching a gentleman and his wife struggle lighting a cigar with a common match. I offered him the use of my Porsche cigar torch and we talked for at least an hour about cigars and wine. Yes, a common man as myself enjoyed conversation and fellowship with C.E.O's, Vice Presidents, and even Marvin. (I highly recommend meeting him......He is a real gentleman's gentlemen ;)Time to file through my bag of fine "smokeables" from this weekend and have yet another cigar before retiring at the Venetian for the night, anticipating the next Las Vegas Big Smoke. Thank you again for a great weekend.

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