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Bars Building Smoking Areas

November 3, 2010, 4:57 PM by Don Jorgensen

Bars Building Smoking Areas
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Now that the statewide smoking ban has passed in South Dakota, businesses will be scrambling to figure out ways to keep their smoking customers.

But at least one Sioux Falls bar won't have to because it was anticipating the ban would pass and already had a plan in place.

The old Ground Round is now the new 18th Amendment, but the only prohibition here will be cigarettes. It opened this past weekend as a smoke-free bar. 

"Since we established as a non-smoking bar, people were already using the patio.  We just politely remind them that the patio is outside and no one has had a problem with it," Rob Horrocks said.

The patio he's referring to is still under construction, but people have already been using it. Horrocks says when finished, smokers will be able to light up out here in comfort, even in the winter.

"It's heated.  Right now, we have lamps, but we are also getting the radiant heating before winter," Horrocks said.

That radiant heating will come from a rooftop that Horrocks says will keep the open air on the patio around room temperature. 
 
While this sports bar is ready for the statewide smoking ban, Horrocks says there are some bars that will struggle.

In other states that have passed smoking bans, studies have shown bars and restaurants lose 20 percent of their business right away. 

"That is true that happens, but a lot of times it picks back up," Horrocks said. 

A smoking ban will be an adjustment for both businesses and their customers and some might not survive, unless they come up with a plan like the 18th Amendment did. 

"Although they are competitors, I really feel bad for them.  We're poised to succeed; I don't know if they are going to be able to." Horrocks said. "I think you're going to see some businesses shut down."

South Dakota's smoking ban officially goes into affect November 10.

[View Election 2010 Results]

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