Family-run Lovo’s Cigars attract patron support despite sour economy

In a tiny cigar shop on Fremont Street East, business thrives despite the economic downturn.

Lovo Cigars, 510 Fremont St., is a stone’s throw from the famed Fremont Street Experience canopy — a tourist magnet.

Store clientele ranges from homeless people and lawyers to doctors and politicians. But the number of tourists coming into the store has decreased, a sign of the times.

Store manager Dan Godding works 12 to 14 hours a day, six days per week. In that time, he sells 200-500 cigars daily. Prices average between $4 to $7 per cigar.

“Because of the economy, the walk-in business has gone down,” Godding said. “But it doesn’t hurt us this much. From November to February, when it’s kind of slow anyway, we’re doing a lot better this year than this time last year. The economy seems to be coming up. We’re getting more walk-ins than we used to.”

Godding is the man with the palette, a true cigar aficionado who helps customers perfect their puff.

Owner Marlo Ramaz, whose wife Egda is of the Lovo family, has been at the Fremont Street location for seven years. It’s a family business, where even customers pass down the tradition of cigar smoking from generation to generation.

“We have loyal business for many years,” Ramaz said.

Each cigar is hand-rolled by members of the Lovo family in a California warehouse, where they stuff each one with tobacco grown on their Nicaraguan plantation.

The store also specializes in Dominican blends.

Lovo has rolled cigars for celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Although Ramaz’s store has been able to stay afloat — the downtown Las Vegas store is one of a franchise of stores that includes locations in Arizona and California — business has dropped 40-45 percent over the last five years.

Ramaz, who has been in the business for almost 30 years, said he blames the loss in business on the economy and Nevada’s clean indoor air act, which went into effect in 2006.

Casinos and other bar-type establishments that do not serve food remain exempt from the law. Restaurants, even those within casinos or gaming establishments, must remain smoke-free.

Smoking is not allowed in public and private schools, child care facilities with five or more children, grocery and convenience stores, retail establishments, video arcades, government buildings and movie theaters.

In November, the state Board of Health included the clean indoor air act within the food regulation process. The Southern Nevada Health District enforces provisions of the act and has the ability to cite individuals for smoking where prohibited.

It’s a $100 penalty for each violation.

“It kills a little bit of my income, to be honest,” Ramaz said. “The restrictions of cigars in casinos kills me, too. It’s getting worse. The economy helps that, too.”

Most casino floors have banned cigar smoking and will ask patrons to leave until they’ve finished their stogies, Ramaz added.

Regardless of the law, Godding said he has seen some bar owners let patrons smoke if food is served.

“Some of the bar owners in town took a chance of getting fined,” Godding said. “Most of these bars doing well are serving food, and they built on a bar to keep smoking.”

Buy it there, smoke it there is the motto at Lovo Cigars, Godding added.

“We have really great-tasting cigars for smokers at a great price,” he said. “There are specials every day.”

For more information about Lovo Cigars, 510 Fremont St., call 384-4427 or visit lovocigars.com.

Contact Downtown and North Las Vegas View reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@viewnews.com or 383-0492.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like