No Smoking Ordinance Striking Out with Local Bowling Alleys - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/18/04

No Smoking Ordinance Striking Out with Local Bowling Alleys

The city of Lubbock Health Department told NewsChannel 11 that most restaurants are in compliance with the new ordinance already. But one business we spoke with says the new ordinance could cost them customers and send their finances in the gutter. 

"Everybody seems to understand the ordinance we're just trying remind people that the deadline is coming July 22nd," says Bridgett Faulkenberry with the Lubbock Health Department. With a fast approaching deadline managers at Brunswick Bowl say the new ordinance will have foul effects on their business. 

"It will have a great impact on your business basically because you've got 65% of your bowlers that do smoke," says Jim McClain, the General Manger of Lubbock's Brunswick Bowl.  He knows, he surveyed his customers on the new ordiance.

After doing the math, he discovered the smoking ban will strike out with many of his patrons. "55% of our bowlers said that yes they would not bowl if smoking was not permitted because they come in here to relax and enjoy themselves," says McClain.

To alleviate the problem McClain is spending thousands of dollars on a new ventilation system in his lounge.  "Between $65 and $100,000."

He's installing large signs to alert the public on the new non smoking rule. And to comply with the new ordinance he's having the lounge completely enclosed. "We also have to enclose the doorway so there is no smoke going out into the area," says McClain.

But many bowlers aren't exactly hooked on leaving their game and go somewhere else to smoke. "I think it stinks. They are infringing on my rights.  They're telling me I can't smoke in the place where I go to have fun," says avid bowler, Laquitta Webb.

With everything McClain is doing to keep from losing business he feels the ordinance will make it more difficult to keep customers satisfied. "We're caught in the middle. It's costing us a lot of money to make the center applicable," says McClain.

The ban does not effect every business in Lubbock. For example, some businesses can be exempt if they are considered a sportsbar. The health department says 14 sportsbars have applied for that exemption.

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