One year later: Boise bars discuss smoking ban impacts

One year later: Boise bars discuss smoking ban impacts

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by Andrea Lutz

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KTVB.COM

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 10:03 AM

BOISE — After a year on the books, officials with the city of Boise are still standing by their decision to pass a non-smoking ordinance.

The ordinance took effect on January 2, 2012.

Mayor's spokesman Adam Park said after looking back at the decision, he sees a lot of conversation, even some controversy surrounding the issue.

“We had a really, I think, healthy and robust debate about whether or not to do this,” said Park.

Additionally, Park says the city council and mayor continue to believe the ban has been for the best. “The ordinance is accomplishing what it should and we think it’s the right thing for Boise,” said Park.

LOCAL BARS REACT TO BAN

There are some bars in Boise, that don’t believe the ban was the right choice; however, these businesses are adjusting.

“(It was) just the initial impact of losing our loyal customers,” said manager of 10th Street Station Dan Krejci.

For 10th Street Station, the non-smoking ban was especially hard to take. That’s because this bar was known for being the 'smokiest' bar in Boise.

“We went from a place everybody loved to hang out and smoke, to a place where they couldn't,” said Krejci.

He said for the first 7 to 8 months under the ban his bar suffered, and was forced to try new and different things to attract new clientele.

“We tried a bunch of different things,” he said.

Other Boise bar owners said they have suffered too, owner Vinnie Face runs the Pocket, just off Curtis and Fairview.

“I’ll bet we are down 20 percent,” Face said.

Hoever, even though business may be down, Face agrees the ban is for the best.

“I’ve been in this business for 35 years; it's up; it’s down -- two years from now we could be doing good,” said Face. “You know and everybody has been really good with it.”

EMBRACING THE BAN?

Other bars are embracing the ban and helping their smoking customers stay warm during these winter months.

Broadway Bar is located at the corner of Warren Avenue and its namesake street just southwest of Boise State. Here, smokers can use an outside shelter, complete with a heater.

Yet, some establishments don't have that option.

“We really never had to make any changes to attract customers,” said Krejci. “We relied on word of mouth and now we have had to go out and do some legwork.”

The folks at 10th Street Station can't exactly build a shelter, that's because they are located downstairs. Krejci says business will bounce back but with hard work.

CITATIONS HANDED-OUT

Park said police officers have handed out 21 citations through the year for those violating Boise's non-smoking ban.

The ban also applies to city parks and city owned buildings, where you must stay 20 feet away when smoking.

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