We held our first dinner at the IPCPR in Las Vegas last night for a
group of cigar makers and cigar brand owners. During the last few visits
to Sin City, we were relegated to smoking on the gaming floors, or in
some outdoor terrace at a restaurant. But last night at Bradley Ogden,
we were given a private dining room where we could light up cigars. It
didn't take long for everyone to realize the smoking light was on, and
by the time we were done with our menus, the cigars were going strong.
As I lit up my cigar, I looked for an ashtray to dispose of the clipped head. There was one at one end of the long table, and a much smaller one at the other end. I called the sommelier over and asked, "Could we have some more ashtrays, please." She laughed. "That's all we have. Up until two weeks ago, what you're doing here was illegal. We don't have any ashtrays." I laughed along with her. I asked her for a couple of small plates to pass around the middle of the table so people had someplace to put their ashes. But the absence of the ashtrays was certainly a reminder of how long smoking restrictions have been in place and how they were observed.
The law in Nevada changed two weeks ago. It basically permits bars and restaurants which don't serve people under 21 to allow smoking areas as well as serve food, which had been prohibited. The law was apparently not very specific about where and how to permit smoking, but most restaurants are looking for ways to accommodate smokers, especially if they have private rooms. The sommelier said they probably would not allow smoking in the open areas of the restaurants, but she was glad they could now offer a place to smoke for people.
Is the tide turning? It's way to soon to make any grand statements like that. But it was really nice to be in Las Vegas, eating at a fine restaurant and being able to have a cigar with friends without having to head out on the gaming floor with the slot machines, roulette wheels, crap tables and blackjack stations. Let's hope it continues.
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