By Rick Newcombe
If you like pipes as much as I do, then make plans now to be in Las Vegas Nov. 6-7 for the second annual West Coast Pipe Show.
By traveling west of the Mississippi, you get a whole different group of collectors from nearly every other pipe show. That means many different pipes for buying and trading – pipes you are not likely to see at other shows. It also means making new friends and meeting up with many veterans of our hobby.
This is a SMOKING SHOW in every sense of the word. There will be pipe smoking in the exhibit hall, in the dining room, at the casinos and in the bars and restaurants.
This is only our second show. Last year was a phenomenal success for a first West Coast Pipe Show, with more than a hundred tables filled with pipes and pipe-related things and some of the best pipe makers in the world, including Paolo Becker, Luigi Viprati, J.T. Cooke, Jeff Gracik, Todd Johnson, Brad Pohlmann, Bob Swanson, Bruce Weaver, Bob Kiess, Adam Davidson, Will Purdy, Michael Lindner, Paul Perri, Jon Rinaldi, Charles Cole, Michael Parks, Joe Skoda, Chris Brunton, Steve Morisette, Ryan Quagliata and Ron Fairchild, among others.
Many collectors told me last year that they were interested in seeing a West Coast Pipe Show, but they wanted to wait before attending one to see what the turnout was like at the first show. I can’t tell you the number of people who have said that this year, they are coming to Vegas!
The show is the brainchild of Steve O’Neill, who is ably assisted by veteran Marty Pulvers. I had always vowed never to get roped into putting together a pipe show, but Steve and Marty were very persuasive, and this show reminds me of Chicago in the early days, where the momentum is clearly building.
But as fast as we are growing, it is important to us to maintain the feel of the shows of old. Many collectors commented last year that the show was very friendly and not too big, so they could take more time and visit with the pipe makers and other experts in the field.
We do not anticipate having buyers from other countries bringing bricks of hundred dollar bills to buy out all the new pipes before you can even see them, as happened at one show recently. It certainly was great for a handful of pipe makers, but I did hear some of their regular customers complain. I am not criticizing this new development because I see both the positives and negatives. I am simply saying that we do not anticipate having these mega-buck buyers fly in from China, Russia or other countries.
The lectures will start off with pipe maker Bob Swanson at 11:30. There will be a talk and book signing by the noted pipe author Gary Schrier of Seattle, who wrote the bestselling book, “Confessions of a Pipeman,” and who is publishing some extremely rare old English pipe catalogues.
There will be a talk by noted tobacco blender Russ Ouellette, with plenty of free samples.
At the banquet dinner, the featured speaker is the brilliant Dr. Fred Hanna, who has written extensively on the joys of pipe smoking. Fred is not afraid to spark controversy and debate, and he is always interesting, fun and challenging.
Remember — there will be pipe smoking at all the meetings!
We chose Las Vegas for many reasons but primarily because it is so easy to get into and out of — and it is a place where you might want to take off a few days for some R&R with your friends or family. Longtime collector Gary Humphrey and his wife and whole family will be traveling from Alaska to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. What better place to do that than at a spectacular pipe show?! Gary will be totally content at the Las Vegas shows and all the other family events during their week-long stay because he will be smoking his favorite pipes and mingling with old and new friends to his heart’s content during the two days of the pipe show.
The hotel rooms are reasonably priced. For special West Coast Pipe Show room rates, call the Palace Station Hotel & Casino: (800) 634-3101, or visit the hotel’s website at: www.palacestation.com.
Exhibitor tables at the show are $95 each. In order to be guaranteed a table(s) at the show, contact Steve O’Neill at the address below. All tables must be paid in full no later than September 30, 2010. Earlier reservations would be greatly appreciated, as we anticipate selling out because there is so much buzz about this exciting show. Tickets are also available for our Saturday Night Awards Dinner, where we will be featuring a wonderful Italian buffet. The dinner price is $55.
On Friday Night, there will be a special Poker Tournament. If you want to participate, please sign up now because seating at the poker table is limited.
For table reservations or any other information, please contact:
956 E 800 South
Lewiston, Utah 84320
Telephone: (435) 258-5431
We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! If you like pipes as much as I do, you won’t want to miss this incredible show.