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December,
2004

TRENDS AND TRENDSETTERS IN SPECIALTY TOBACCO RETAILING
Tropicana Rolls Out Havana Hideaway Cigar Lounge

Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has opened the Havana Hideaway, a cozy smoking environment featuring a wide variety of competitively-priced cigars and tobacco products including domestic and imported cigarettes, cigar cutters, lighters, personal and travel humidors, and clothing items.

Decorated in warm tones and dark wood, the lounge features leather sofas and cushioned chairs to encourage customers to sit and relax as they enjoy a cigar and a drink - drink and cigar combination specials are promoted throughout the lounge. Big-game sporting events are shown on several television screens throughout the lounge, while jazz music plays at other times.


Authorized Display by Crown David International

Crown David International is giving its authorized dealers a six foot cigar display. Yan Levy, Crown David's president and owner, says the idea for the mammoth cigar was born four years ago, and the company placed one in the S.J. Cigar store in Philadelphia. It quickly become a conversation piece and an attraction too, generating a tremendous amount of interest as well as orders. The larger-than-life stogie has become Crown David's signature mark, and bears the company's Cuban Stock cigar label. Contact CDI at (800) 380-8617 to become an authorized dealer.

New & Notable

  • Store owners Bud Korn and Colleen Rose have opened The Humidor on Cajon Street in Redlands, Calif., near San Bernardino. The 108-square-foot cigar and gift shop is decorated in a retro theme and carries lighters,incense, candles, knives, darts, and high-end poker and domino sets. Korn estimates that 30-35 percent of the store's customers are female. Rose personally makes purses out of empty cigar boxes that retail for $30, as well as customized cigar bands for weddings and businesses. The partners plan to eventually roll their own cigars on premises and expand the shop to include high-end specialized knives. The shop also has an outdoor smoking area.
  • Charlotte, N.C. cigar retailer Craig Cass opened his fifth location in October - a TinderBox store at the Arboretum Shopping Center that combines the look of a giant humidor with the ambiance of a British pub. "The whole store is very visual, and everything is open and eclectic," Cass told the Charlotte Business Journal. The 1,500-sq-ft. space features a cedar wood-clad wall and a glass wall creating a humidor-like appearance. The shop also features an enclosed lounge with leather seats and couches.
  • Belle Meade Premium Cigars and Gifts, Nashville, Tenn., held a grand opening celebration on November 6 for their new store in Belle Meade Plaza. The shop caters to premium cigar and pipe smokers, and is placing significant emphasis on the in-store lounge. "It will be a lot of fun to have various cigar and pipe smoking clubs bring their members to our new location and use our special smoking lounge," said Jeff Watson, vice president and store co-owner. "This will truly be the kind of place where cigar and pipe smokers feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated." Belle Meade is equipped with a 250-square-foot walk-in humidor stocked with leading cigar brands, and offers annual club memberships for $150. Members receive free monthly cigars, 15% discounts on purchases of boxed cigars, 10% discounts on the purchase of other tobacco products, free coffee at the store, and invitations to special monthly events.

SMOKESHOP - December, 2004