Home Back Issues April 2009 New smoking ban dampens sales

New smoking ban dampens sales

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

STATEWIDE Oregon’s new workplace smoking ban is a big reason why lottery and video poker sales in bars and restaurants dropped 20% in January and 15% in February compared to the same time last year, according to the Oregon Restaurant Association.

Sales in general are down 8%, but for some establishments the new law, which was effective Jan. 1, has exacerbated the loss of business caused by the recession, says Bill Perry, ORA director of government affairs.

Four months into the law, the Crow Bar in North Portland says it has seen an exodus of its smoking patrons. About 25% of the bar’s clientele before the ban was smokers, says bar owner Joshua Wilson. “I didn’t expect the drop to be as dramatic as it has been,” he says. “The hard-core clientele like to drink and smoke at the same time.”

Wilson declines to say how much business he’s lost. But since the ban he says he has seen a slight increase on the weekends in food sales and top-shelf drinks. “If you don’t have a patio, you are going to lose all the smokers,” Wilson says.

Having a covered patio area with electric heaters is proving to be a boon for the Florida Room, located in North Portland about a mile from the Crow Bar. The last two months have been some of the busiest ever, says Suzy Day, co-owner of the bar. Smokers “were pretty much the base of our clientele,” she says.

The bar already had outdoor seating in front, but a year before the law went into effect owners made plans to add an awning.

Wilson says he doesn’t have the space to build a patio. He’s hoping lost customers eventually return as he learned they did at bars in other states with a similar law, such as Washington and California.

Perry says it’s the “tavern style” bars with minimal beer and food choices that stand to get most hurt by the new law. “I just think people are going to have to get more diversified,” he says.   

JASON SHUFFLER

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Molecular Movies

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together. 


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

Buyer's Remorse

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Parents and students paying for college today are like homeowners who bought a house just before the housing bubble burst.


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS