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May 8, 2017
1,621
1,720
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
It’s getting close! Less than six weeks away! I have a lengthy update here. I’ll thank you in advance for taking a couple minutes to read through it.

As of yesterday morning, the show’s room blocks at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort for Friday and Saturday evenings are over 95% filled. We have asked Marriott to expand the block and extend the deadline (March 31st), but we have no guarantees that they will be able to accommodate our requests. Hopefully, they will, but they do have a couple weddings booked for that same weekend.

In the event that they cannot expand the block and extend the cutoff date, there are several other nearby hotels, most of which are also Marriott properties. We have already been approached by one of them promising us they’ll offer discounted rates. As more information becomes available, I will share it here.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t reserved your room at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, be quick and you might still score one.

On another topic, the way the show’s usage of the hotel property is paid for, is not via rental, but instead by commitments to rooms and spending on catering and cash bar sales. We’re fine on rooms, obviously, but we need folks to come to our Friday night banquet to help us meet that catering minimum. Otherwise, the show will have to just fork over cash to meet that minimum. It is for that reason that we offer a steeply discounted banquet on Friday evening. We are charging $20 cash at the door for the meal, which, in my opinion, was very tasty last year. You would be unable to get an equally good meal for that price anywhere near the hotel. It is a geniune bargain. The show pays more than 3 times that amount for the meal. There will be beef, chicken, and pasta main courses and many sides, plus cookies and brownies for dessert. Last year, the fancier desserts were apparently too good and the early birds (like me) kept going back for more and snapped them all up, leaving the latecomers without dessert. That they were limited in quantity was a surprise to us. So, this year, it’s going to be cookies and brownies.

Regarding the cash bar, there will be none inside nor adjacent to the tent. This is so that hotel employees are not subjected to tobacco smoke. There will be, however, a bar that will be at the end of the sidewalk leading from the tent to the hotel. There is a hotel lounge there, a portion of which is being converted to a bar. The good news is that we have negotiated lower prices on beer, which will be competitive with other bars in town. Soft drinks will be dramatically reduced to a much more reasonable price of $2.

A new feature this year will be our Battle of the Briar, which was Jeff Gracik’s brainstorm. Modeled after The Iron Chef, the competitors will each fashion a pipe in a fixed timeframe and will compete for best pipe. The pipes they create will be stamped for the event and will be sold at the Silent Auction on Saturday.

Speaking of the Silent Auction, if you have anything at all that you’d like to donate, we would be extremely grateful. It is usually the results of the Silent Auction which determines whether the show makes money or loses money. I’m being straight with you here, since this show belongs to pipe community. It is a not-for-profit event. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of our reserves on last year’s show. If we lose anywhere close to that same amount this year, the future of the show will be in serious doubt. We really need your support by booking rooms at the resort, attending the Friday night banquet and/or the Saturday night Feast / Doctor of Pipes dinner, buying drinks from the cash bars, table rentals, and donations to the silent auction. Every little bit helps. We have done all we can to reign in costs and limit prices.

One thing that will greatly help our finances this year is that many vendors have stepped up and are sponsoring our show this year. We are extremely grateful to all of them and will be making a special effort to recognize them. I ask you to please make an effort to thank them by making a point to visit their tables and maybe even thanking them personally for having been a sponsor. The current list includes in no particular order, Iwan Ries, Sutliff Tobacco, Missouri Meerschaum, Smokingpipes.com, Cornell and Diehl, TinBids.com, Arango Cigars, TobaccoPipes.com, and Captain Black. Also, thank you to Steve Norse of Vermontfreehand.com for again providing supplies for our pipe carving and finishing classes — something he has quietly done for a long time.

Please see our website, chicagopipeshow.com for table, room, and dinner reservations. Also, please, please follow us on our NEW Instagram account for ongoing updates —@thechicagopipeshow. Unfortunately, someone created a competing Instagram account a few years ago, but we don’t know who it was and thus, are unable to add content to it, so we have created this new account. Plus, Instagram won’t take down that old account. So, if you previously followed the other account, please add this one too!
 
Last edited:

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
5,574
14,485
Put another way...

People who collect, say, used guitar strings, or wheelbarrows, or bus tokens from 1960's Milwaukee can NEVER have a show because their hobby doesn't involve enough commerce.

On the other hand, coin collectors, stamp collectors, and fine art collectors have city-sized extravaganzas that are attended by rich folks from all over the world in private jets because their hobby involves billions of dollars.

Tobacco pipes are in between. Much closer to the former than the latter. It teeters on the edge of being "non-viable" financially regarding large gatherings.

So, if you attend the show, please do as Craig asks regarding where to spend the money that you're going to spend anyway.

Our hobby's survival depends on all of us thinking that way all the time, in fact.






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May 8, 2017
1,621
1,720
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
Man, you guys sure work hard on this.
A labor of love. We’re really trying to make the show better every year. Lots of new blood in the show board this year naturally brings some new perspectives.

One thing I forgot to mention in terms of change is the Silent Auction. Historically, all of the tables closed at one time. This year, they will close in groups throughout the afternoon.
 
May 8, 2017
1,621
1,720
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
Yes. The $20 Friday Night Welcome banquet requires no reservations.

We do require reservations, however, for the Saturday Night Feast where the Doctor and Master of Pipes awards will be presented. There will also be a drawing for a number of prizes, which are most often boxes of cigars. Please go to chicagopipeshow.com to submit your dinner reservation form. The club is on the hook for every meal ordered, so we appreciate prepayment by mailing a check. If this is not possible, you can pay at the show when you pick up your show packet.

By the way, the hotel cooks steaks medium by default. You will not be asked for a preference, but it may be possible to let a server know before the meal starts if you'd like your steak cooked differently.
 
May 8, 2017
1,621
1,720
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
It's my understanding that the room block has been expanded, but I still don't know by how many rooms. We had exhausted the original quantity of rooms in our block, but more have been added. The deadline for reservations is reportedly extended to April 15th, but I recommend that if you think you may come, make the reservation now because there is a definite risk of the room block filling before that date. There are liberal cancellation terms.
 
May 8, 2017
1,621
1,720
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
CORRECTION!
The new deadline for reservations at our discounted rate is now April 6th! However, the number of rooms added to our block was small — 15 additional rooms for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We’re going to try twisting some arms to see if we can’t do better, but that’s where we’re at right now. Bottom line…make your reservation ASAP.
 

pylorns

Lifer
Aug 20, 2013
2,122
383
Austin, Texas
www.thepipetool.com
Yes. The $20 Friday Night Welcome banquet requires no reservations.

We do require reservations, however, for the Saturday Night Feast where the Doctor and Master of Pipes awards will be presented. There will also be a drawing for a number of prizes, which are most often boxes of cigars. Please go to chicagopipeshow.com to submit your dinner reservation form. The club is on the hook for every meal ordered, so we appreciate prepayment by mailing a check. If this is not possible, you can pay at the show when you pick up your show packet.

By the way, the hotel cooks steaks medium by default. You will not be asked for a preference, but it may be possible to let a server know before the meal starts if you'd like your steak cooked differently.
So question on the Saturday night feast - do we have to mail a check or can we just pay in cash there?
 

rodo

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 1, 2014
157
259
Central Arkansas
I'm curious about one aspect of the show. What is the Swap and Smoke and how is that different than the Exhibition Halls? What happens at the Swap and Smoke?
 

Val

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 18, 2019
141
331
Hi there, I’m wondering if there is someone I can speak to by phone regarding some details about the show?