December 1998
Volume 25
Number 6


Niche Resources to Acquire Pheasant International
Niche Resources, parent company of Old Scottsdale Cigar Co., has signed a letter of intent with Las Vegas-based Pheasant International, Inc. to acquire 100 percent of the company's stock. In the agreement, all Pheasant International management will be retained and R.D. Gomez will remain as c.e.o. of the company.

Old Scottsdale Cigar Co., one of Niche's two subsidiaries, deals in wholesale distribution of premium cigars in the mass grocery and convenience store market. "This is a natural acquisition for Niche that will expand Pheasant distribution in additional markets where they do not have existing penetration," stated Bruce Griffin, c.e.o. of Niche Resources. The company intends to merge all distribution and accounting functions in its Scottsdale, Arizona headquarters.

Pheasant International is an international tobacconist and importer of fine leather goods from Spain. The company produces a line of Honduran-made cigars under the Signature Pheasant Cigars marque, as well as a line of leather cigar accessories. Pheasant wholesales its cigars to tobacco shops nationwide and has a retail shop that is a full-line tobacconist and leather goods retailer.

Grand Havana Enterprises Loses Nasdaq Listing
Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. delisted the common stock of Grand Havana Enterprises, Inc. from trading on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. The company was delisted on October 28 for failure to meet the minimum bid and market value of public float requirements. Under applicable rules of the SEC, the company's securities were immediately eligible to trade on the OTC Bulletin Board. Grand Havana Enterprises, Inc. owns and operates the Grand Havana Room private membership cigar clubs in Beverly Hills, Washington, D.C., and New York City. The company also owns and operates three Grand Havana House of Cigar retail stores in Beverly Hills, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. The company announced that it will not proceed with the proposed reverse stock split of its common stock.
Pipe Smoking Contest Crowns New Champion
On October 31, the 50th annual World's Champion Pipe Smoking Contest was held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Fifty men and four women participated in the competition, which was hosted by the Kentuckiana Pipe Smoker's Club, a member of the International Pipe Smoker's Association. Each smoker in the contest received 3.3 grams of tobacco and two matches. The contestants packed their pipes with tobacco and then had one minute to light up and attempt to keep the pipe smoking as long as possible. At the 40-minute mark, the smokers started dropping out quickly. The last woman dropped out just before the one hour mark. At 78 minutes, only three smokers remained.

Paul Howard of Kentucky was the eventual winner, with a time of 100 minutes and 23 seconds. Even though his final competitor dropped out at the 89-minute mark, Howard kept on smoking for 11 more minutes until his pipe finally went out. He finished 20 seconds shy of last year's winner, his son Coy, who was out of this year's contest at about the 12-minute mark. "You've really got to pack it good and smoke it slow," said Howard, a pipe enthusiast for over 30 years. "I packed it just right." After finishing the contest, Howard turned his pipe over to Paul Spaniola, owner of Paul's Pipe Shop of Flint, Michigan, who has a museum in his store with all 50 championship pipes. The 85-year-old Spaniola is the chairman and founding member of the International Pipe Smoker's Association and has participated in all 50 world competitions, winning six times.

Promotional Campaign Launched by Zippo
Oippo has launched a new multimedia promotional campaign focusing on the many uses of the company's noted lighter and targeting a new audience. The new campaign, based on the theme, "Zippo: Use it to start something," was created to introduce a new generation - 21- to 35-year-olds - to the Zippo lighter. The campaign illustrates the "hippest" ways to light many things.

"Many people already know that Zippo lighters are cool," said Patrick Grandy, marketing communications manager. "We want a new generation of Zippo customers to know that too. That's why we're using style and image to establish our new communications program."

The campaign included magazine ads focusing on the "Use it to start something" theme and featuring the classic Zippo brush chrome lighter. The two-page spreads ran in a number of national music, fashion, and entertainment magazines from September to December. The ad's strategy was to entice customers into retail stores with the well-known Zippo case design.

Zippo also supported its national radio and television campaign on the Internet with sn updated website, as well as promotional banners and games that returned the player to the Zippo home page.

According to the company, " Never before, in Zippo history, have we invested this much energy into an advertising campaign. We believe that this extensive multimedia effort is an exciting and innovative way to reach our new audience with maximum impact."

SMOKESHOP - December 98