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The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, (smoking ban), and its effect on Billy’s Inn.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

While all this was going on I went back to the people who made the second offer and asked them if they still wished to buy Billy’s Inn. If so make me an offer. It is well known by now that there was going to be a ban. An all inclusive ban. In April of 2006 the people who made the second offer came back with an offer of $600,000.00. We just lost $225,000.00 due to the ban.

First off we stopped taking wages and started using our savings to live on. Then we re-wrote the mortgage on our house and opened a home equity line of credit.

Six months into the ban our business had dropped off by 41%.

By November of 2006 we had to drop our Liquor License Insurance (Dram shop), because we could no longer afford it. At the end of our fiscal year the business was down by 26%. The ban had been in effect for only 4 out of 12 months.

Our adjusted gross income for 2006 was $914.00.

We went from a comfortable life style to zero in less than a year.

In 2007 we saw our business continue to fall off. We sold off other property at a loss and used the money to go on. We dropped our property insurance because we could no longer afford to pay that. We ran the last year of business without any insurance of any kind.

On January the first we celebrated our 40th. Anniversary at Billy’s Inn. My wife’s father ran it for 19 years. In 1985 I left the unions because I was tired of rebels dictating policy in my life. I swore no one would ever dictate policy in my life again. I started running the business in 1985 for my father-in-law. In 1987 we took over the business and have been there ever since. Twenty three years down the drain. I am now sixty two years old and I have to find a job till I can retire at sixty six. Little did I know that the next rebel would be in our own legislature.

After the sale of the business our government taxed us 21% on what we could sell.

Then our government penalized us 25% because we retired three years to soon.

Since closing. One of my bartenders has a wife and four children. He has been homeless since the spring of 2008. In February of 2009 they got into a two bedroom apartment. With four children that is real cozy.

One of the other bartenders, (An unwed mother of two), is also now losing her home. Her new job at Walgreen’s does not pay what she received as a bartender.

Another had a killing outside the bar while they were smoking. Two families destroyed by the smoking ban. There was no bartender or owner outside to intervene.

63 bars, 478 employees, 1 casino, 62 employees, 2 nightclubs, 46 employees, 1 bowling alley, 3 pool halls, and 16 bingo halls all closed. Number of employees un-known.

Venders such as Fender Entertainment gone. Lisa Fender booked entertainment for bars and taverns. Businesses could not afford the entertainment venues so it cost her the business.

In 2006 there were 44 bingo halls, now there are 28 left. The non-profits, who could least afford it, are the biggest losers. The losses are in the millions.

What ever happened to love thy neighbor? Or live and let live. Is this truly the American way?

Source:  Letter to The Smokers Club.  Link.

Additinal Source: The Denver Post.  Link.

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