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Richard L. DiMeola

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Cigar Corporation
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 26)

CA: Assuming it is, is there a factory that is already built?

DiMeola: There are buildings.

CA: There are buildings? The original buildings?

DiMeola: No.

CA: What about the workers?

DiMeola: We would have to hire workers.

CA: And train them?

DiMeola: We think that we can attract a small core of trained workers who, perhaps at one time, worked in the old Royal Jamaica factory. So from that we would have to build. It would be a slow building process.

CA: Could you compare the new smoker in the market today with the consumer of five years ago?

DiMeola: He's younger. The average age of entry into smoking cigars used to be 35. Today it's lower. I don't know what it is; we haven't done the research. That smoker today is smoking better and fewer. I mean, I don't want to use a cliché, but I think that's a fact. The younger smoker is smoking fewer cigars, but he's smoking better cigars. There are consumers now who won't buy a cigar unless it costs them more than $5. I speak at some of these dinners and the subject of price comes up and I tell that to the audience: There are people among you who won't buy a cigar unless it costs you more than $5.

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