The Tobacconists’ Association of America has announced that it will be moving the date and location of its annual conference as a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

The TAA had originally scheduled its 50th anniversary meeting and celebration for April 15-19, 2018 at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa in St. Maarteen, however that property sustained significant damage during the hurricane. Upwards of 90 percent of the island also experienced significant impacts to infrastructure, making it a challenge to host an event such as the TAA’s meeting.

As such, the organization has relocated its conference to Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic, with new dates of April 29 through May 3. It is a familiar site for the organization, having held its meeting there before and being a popular destination for those visiting the area.

The TAA was founded in 1968 and is an organization of many of the top cigar retailers in the country, as well as some of the largest cigar makers. The group meets annually to discuss issues facing the industry, exchange best practices information, and hold a group buying session that leverages their numbers to secure favorable pricing on products. The organization has also amassed a growing number of exclusive cigars produced by member companies.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.