Nov 302003
 
Authors: Brittany Burke

For CB & Potts owner Kevin Sheesley, the smoking ban in Fort

Collins affected the relationship with guests more than sales.

“Most of (my guests) have been here longer than any of the city

council members,” Sheesley said. “Now, some of the guests that came

twice a week will now only come once a week or not at all.”

Fort Collins became smoke-free in all restaurants and bars as of

Oct. 1, 2003. The City Council voted the ordinance into law by a

6-1 vote.

CB & Potts, 1427 W. Elizabeth St., has been serving food and

beer to Fort Collins residents since 1974, Sheesley said.

“We have been trying to make it as comfortable as possible for

(the customers who smoked),” Sheesley said.

According to Sheesley, the individuals that do smoke now step

outside the restaurant to have a cigarette. Some of these people

throw their cigarette butts onto the ground, littering the parking

lot and premises.

Other restaurants have also seen a rise in litter outside their

buildings.

Matt Wells, a manager at Old Chicago, 4709 S. Timberline Rd.,

said his restaurant took precautions prior to Oct. 1 to combat the

litter of cigarette butts outside.

“We added two benches outside and trashcans with ashtrays on top

of them,” Wells said. “We were ready before the ban started.”

Wells and other managers at Old Chicago also added duties for

servers to help with the trash. Wells said he has only heard

positive feedback from his customers about a smoke-free

restaurant.

Although the smoking ban may add extra cleaning duties, Wells, a

non-smoker, is pleased with his working environment.

“Working in a smoke-filled environment sucked,” Wells said. “Now

when I go home my eyes aren’t burning.”

Even some restaurant employees who do smoke are happy with the

new ban.

Lynsey Perry, a manager at Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewing, 5 Old

Town Square, said the smoking ban helped her cut back on her own

smoking.

“I enjoy working in a non-smoking restaurant,” Perry said. “It’s

a habit I would love to quit. Now, when I’m working I can’t go for

a cigarette break as easily.”

Coopersmith’s has also seen the increase in litter around their

restaurant.

“Old Town has a cleaning crew that comes through and cleans up

all the (cigarette) butts,” Perry said. “It would be impossible for

us to clean everything and still maintain our business.”

On the business end, Perry said, Coopersmith’s pool hall’s

business has decreased substantially, while the pub side has seen

an increase in business.

Hooters, 2631 S. College Ave., has also seen positive and

negative aspects to the smoking ban.

“Two things have happened (since the smoking ban),” said Vince

Brown, a manager at Hooters. “We don’t have as many guys that come

to drink and smoke all night long, but we do have more families

coming.”

Business at Hooters has decreased since the ban took effect in

October, Brown said. Brown estimated 60 percent of his clientele

were smokers and now only 20 percent of them still dine there.

“Personally, I love it,” Brown said. “I can breathe cleaner air.

But it hasn’t been good for business.”

According to Brown, Hooters has been trying promotional specials

to win back customers.

“We are doing lunch specials and drink specials,” Brown said.

“We are doing anything we can.”

According to www.smokefreefortcollins.org, an economic decline

is purely a myth.

The Web site said that while some patrons do stop dining at

non-smoking restaurants, most do not.

“Smoke-free policies actually increase patronage by non-smokers,

compensating for any initial loss of smokers by nearly 2.5 times,”

according to the Web site.

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