Jefferson City Hotels Look At Possible Smoking Ban Effects

8 years 1 day 23 hours ago Wednesday, October 13 2010 Oct 13, 2010 Wednesday, October 13, 2010 10:31:14 PM CDT October 13, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With just three weeks until the November election, businesses in Jefferson City are looking at how the city’s proposed smoking ban ordinance would affect them if it passes. Some hotels and motels in the city may have to make changes if it passes.

The proposed ordinance states no more than 20 percent of the rooms can be smoking rooms. All smoking rooms must be on the same floor and smoke cannot escape to areas where the smoking is prohibited.  

Denise Kinard from Truman Hotel and Conference Center said the ordinance will not likely affect the hotel if the ordinance does pass.

“Quite a few of our bar cliental are smokers so I’m not exactly sure how they will feel once that does happen, but as far as the hotel is concerned everything will pretty much be the same,” Kinard said.

Kinard said only 12 percent of the hotel’s rooms are smoking, and that's enough for the guests. Many of the guests come from large groups.

“A large portion of their group are smokers and they do quite a bit of smoking. It’s a week long event. So they are here and they said it will not affect them, so that’s great news for us,” Kinard said. “More and more hotels are going non-smoking. More cities are going non-smoking so when they go to their national convention it’s hard enough for them to even get smoking guests rooms.   

The hotel did think about going completely non-smoking, but guests were not so agreeable to this as they were the proposed ordinance.

“In our guests rooms, we actually had a couple of groups that stated that they would go to another city if we did not have smoking rooms available for their guests,” Kinard said.

City councilwoman Carrie Carroll said passing a smoking ban would bring Jefferson City up to speed with other cities and guests may even expect hotels and motels to be smoke-free.

“They’re probably coming from communities where they are expecting to come to a smoke free community,” Carroll said. “That’s probably where they came from so, especially being a capitol city they may think we are more ahead.”

Carroll also said Jefferson City is one of seven state capitols in the country that has not passed a smoking ban yet.

“What’s really unique in our situation is this was brought forward by the people,” Carroll said. “So this was not something the council brought up. So now it’s going on the ballot for people to decide. On Nov. 2 when people make their choice on the ballot that will be a good signal for the business owners in town to see what the community truly wants.”

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