Every time I go to a pipe show, I come away with new information, or, at least, a new perspective on a subject. Since the Chicagoland Pipe and Tobacciana Show is so large, and I get to speak to so many people, it usually takes me a little while to digest everything I’ve absorbed. This year, the traffic was so heavy, and I had the chance to meet and get reacquainted with such a high volume of people, it took an especially long time to catalog all the things I found interesting.
My angle on the overall pipe smoking market is much broader than most of the hobbyists, because we sell to the masses. So when one of the folks who stopped by our tables asked me a simple question, I got a real picture of what the enthusiasts think of pipe smoking versus the entire market.
CHICAGO—Well, the 2014 Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show is in the history books. There are some left over stories that are just begging to be told. So, here we go:
If you have never been to the show, you owe it to yourself and to your love of pipes and tobacco to put it on the bucket list. You won’t be sorry.
One of the neatest stories at the show was Odalys Gonzales of The Gonzalez Family Cigars. Odalys, 42, is from Cuba and has been in Hialeah, Fla., for about 15 years hand-rolling cigars.
The Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show recently completed it’s 18th run. It was my 5th year in a row attending, the most fun I’ve had there, and largest crowd I’ve ever seen at the show. (I believe they had record attendance.) The show is commonly referred to simply as "The Chicago Pipe Show", since attendees from all over the world fly into Chicago O’Hare International, or Chicago Midway airport to get there. Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles IL, where the show is held, is about a 45 - 60 minute drive southwest of the airport. Limo or taxi rides can be had for around $100 each way, or you can rent a car like I do, if you want the chance for a little more freedom to roam outside of the resort.