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Nicotine Nannies claim smoking bans are good for business. But if that were the case, could this list exist, and could it be so huge? (Please note, this is only a small sample of articles available on the subject.)

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Mpls. Bar Owners Say Ban Is Bad For Business

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Minneapolis (WCCO) Some establishment owners are claiming a huge drop in business since Minneapolis snuffed out smoking three weeks ago.

The smoking ban went in effect March 31 at city bars, restaurants and bowling alleys, but claims of declining business have elected officials thinking about changing the law.

City Councilman Dean Zimmerman, co-sponsor of the city smoking ban, got an earful Wednesday at a meeting with about 40 Minneapolis establishment owners, including Gabby’s owner Jeff Ormond.

“Everybody is seeing declined sales,” Ormond said.

“We’re down between 25 and 30 percent,” one bar owner said.

“We were not prepared for this big chunk of our business to be bitten out of us,” said another.

“We’re the ones risking everything, and I’m very upset about it, and we’ve got to do something about it,” another attendee said.

Zimmerman was willing to suggest the law could change.

“There certainly may be opportunity for doing the partial ban that would mimic what’s happening in St. Paul,” Zimmerman told those in attendance.

During Wednesday’s lunch rush, there were plenty of open tables at Gabby’s in northeast Minneapolis. The bar was practically empty, and owner Ormond was fuming.

“This is the worst — what you’re looking at — the worst problem,” Ormond said, indicating the empty barstools. “Our bar was always semi-full.”

Ormond said business was down 26 percent since the ban went in effect.

“Our bartenders’ tips are down 50 percent. People come in and have one drink and say ‘Hi’ and then ‘Bye, thank you, gotta go to the bar where we can smoke.'”

Before the smoking ban, Ormond had six people serving drinks on a Saturday night. Ormond said he was cutting it to three, because he needed fewer people to serve the declining bar clientele.

In all, Ormond crossed 51 work shifts off his schedule, an amount equal to 10 full-time jobs.

Source: wcco.com. Link expired, mirror link here.

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