If you’ve seen our past coverage on Colorado’s annual Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival, you’ll know that this event has grown to become one of the biggest and most successful in the country. And for 2016, it’s business as usual—no longer is it an unexpected phenomenon (Colorado isn’t exactly a cigar Mecca), but an anticipated event for smokers across the country. And with a convenient and central location, boosted by Colorado’s impressive scenery, it’s no surprise the show’s attendance has spiked each year—now attracting more than 1,500 visitors.
Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival is technically only one day, but the party gets started up to three days prior. With the industry’s biggest brands and cigar personalities in town, various events are held around Denver’s local B&Ms each night—all leading up to Drew Estate’s party the night before RMCF. Jonathan Drew and Willy Herrera host the party, with a line of cigar enthusiasts wrapping around the building’s interior; waiting to meet the industry’s most compelling personality (and hopefully an Undercrown Manifesto or two…).
This year’s event was held on August 20, 2016
Since 2014, the event has been held at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colorado. Booths are lined around the resort pool, located adjacent Omni’s 27-hole championship golf course. Like most events, there are various ticketing options that range from the $45 social ticket (nice option for those that simply want to enjoy the atmosphere), all the way up to the $550 Executive VIP pass (includes lots of custom goodies and a much more premium selection of cigars), and multiple tiers in between.
- Cigar goodie bags (General, VIP, & Executive VIP)
- Show-special prices (some of the best deals we’ve seen)
- Event-exclusive cigars
- Appearances from cigar celebrities such as Jonathan Drew, Willy Herrera, Dan Welsh, Omar de Frias, Erik Espinosa, Christian Eiroa, Terence Reilly, Tom Lazuka, and more
- Denver’s top breweries & distilleries
- Live music
- Drink and food tickets
- Drawings, manufacturer freebies, and extra prizes
- Billiards (play with the pros – aka “The Angels of Billiards”)
- After party sponsored by LFD Cigars
This year’s vendors included many of the industry’s top brands, as we’ve come to expect. Where we saw growth was with the non-cigar brands—it almost seems to be taking on a “Colorado craft” vibe, which really helps to round out the experience. There seemed to be a lot more breweries and distilleries, such as Oskar Blues, Upslope, Elevation (which had barrel-aged imperial stout on tap!), Small Town Brewery (gotta love that “Not Your Father’s Root Beer”), Crabtree, Breckenridge Distillery, Axe and the Oak, Laws Whiskey House, and many, many more…
Also impressive was the growing list of brands that offered Rocky Mountain Cigar Fest cigar blends! That’s right, both AJ Fernandez and La Flor Dominicana brought custom RMCF cigars, complete with original packaging and bands—collectors, this should now be on your radar.
In the end, all we can say is, keep up the good work, Colorado (looking at you, Smoker Friendly) and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017… (maybe a few RMCF event-exclusive brews… just sayin’).