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
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
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.