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June,
2008

TRENDS AND TRENDSETTERS IN TOBACCO RETAILING
Deadwood Tobacconist to Host Inaugural Legends Ride During Iconic South Dakota Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Sturgis, SD - Motorcycle and tobacco enthusiasts will collide in a star-studded, charity affair at the first annual Legends Ride on Thursday, August 7, 2008, during the world’s most iconic motorcyclist gathering, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Capitalizing on the Sturgis Rally’s most popular entertainment destinations, the Legends Ride will begin in historic Deadwood at Deadwood Tobacco Company, a full-service tobacconist shop in western South Dakota. Owners John and Vaughn Boyd will welcome cigar industry notables including Manny Ferraro from Ashton, CAO director of lifestyle marketing Jon Huber, Drew Estate sales director David Sather, Villiger Stokkebye Cigar president Erik Stokkebye, and Camacho Cigar Company president Christian Eiroa.

The Boyd’s will also be firing up their Harley’s on the 50-mile journey through the majestic Black Hills alongside an A-list of celebrities, including actor/director David Keith and Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider. The ride will culminate at the legendary Buffalo Chip Campground, Sturgis’ premier entertainment and travel destination featuring a 9-day concert lineup.

Legends Ride tickets can be purchased for $150 online at www.legendsride.com or for $200 on the day.


Pennsylvania Passes Smoking Ban; R.I. Caps Cigar Tax

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has signed into law a compromise smoking ban that will prohibit smoking in most private businesses and public spaces, while exempting private clubs, a percentage of casino gaming floors and bars where food accounts for 20 percent or less of gross sales. Retail tobacco shops, cigar bars, and related industry businesses will be exempt. Some bars will also be exempt from the ban, while some restaurant-bars will have the option of separating the two businesses by creating separate entrances and ventilation systems.

Meanwhile, the Rhode Island state Legislature has approved a bill making the state’s 50-cent cigar tax cap, which was set to expire June 30, 2008, permanent. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the governor. Rhode Island is one of six states to cap the excise tax on cigars.


NEW & NOTABLE

  • Milan Tobacconist, Roanoke, Va., is planning to move from its current downtown leased location of 52 years to a three-story building that the store owners are seeking to purchase and renovate. Opened in 1912 at 102 S. Jefferson St. and later expanded at that location, Milan moved to its current shop at 106 S. Jefferson St. in 1956. David and Renee Meyer, the husband-and-wife who have owned Milan since 2000, expect to open the expanded business - which will include a larger humidor and a private second floor cigar club with its own entrance.

  • Chris and John McGinley, who own the Trading Post Coffee House in Sneads Ferry, N.C., have opened the Smokers Post catering to cigar smokers in particular, but also offer imported and organic cigarettes. Described as “an elegant retreat with a full bar, walk-in humidor, and separate smokers lounge,” equipped with a high-capacity ventilation system. The club features a full bar and light sandwich menu. Poker, dart, beer and wine tours are held weekly.

  • BITS & PIECES

  • Kansas City’s voter-approved smoking ban went into effect June 20 when a county judge lifted a temporary restraining order that had halted implementation in response to a lawsuit filed by nine smoking establishments challenging the constitutionality of the restrictions that Kansas City voters had approved April 8. Under the ban, smoking is not permitted in bars, restaurants, or tobacco stores. Curt Diebel, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and owner of Diebel’s Sportsmens Gallery, where customers have been lighting up pipes and cigars since 1954, said, “I’m selling a legal product that my customers enjoy smoking in my store. This will affect my sales negatively.” The lawsuit is ongoing.

  • Baltimore City granted the Havana Club, a downtown cigar bar on Water Street, an exemption from the Maryland smoking ban, making it the only Baltimore business with an exemption to date. While Havana Club has historically attracted cigar smokers, the exemption allows cigarette smokers to light up also. Havana Club executives applied for an economic hardship waiver, which allows businesses to receive an exemption if they can show sales declined at least 15 percent over a two-month period. The exemption is valid through January 31, 2011.

  • SMOKESHOP - June, 2008