IBJOpinion

Bars should cater to smokers, too

March 13, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

I am replying to the article in the March 1 IBJ where [Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association President Don] Welsh made his nebulous claims that Indy’s weak smoking ban hurts his ability to market the city to visitors and convention business.

Why Welsh would want to step in the middle of such a politically charged issue is disappointing. He received a rebuke from Indiana Sen. President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne. In an interview with Norman Cox (WRTV-Channel 6) on March 1, Sen. Long, responding to similar statements from Welsh, declared, “Nobody’s talked to us about that. I seriously doubt that’s true.”

What seems odd about Welsh’s statement is that he must have forgotten that his job and that of his entire staff is a result of the taxes borne by our customers over the last 26 years to fund all of these fancy domes, stadiums and convention centers.

There are only 344 registered smoking establishments, out of over 1,300 liquor licenses in Indy and an estimated 2,500 restaurants. Those restaurants are unacceptable to nonsmokers?

Lastly, he referenced the life sciences as about 4 percent of all convention business. Perhaps he might remind the other 96 percent of the clients that we offer a place for both nonsmokers and smokers, which should be seen as an advantage. He might be overlooking that 23 percent of the U.S. population still smokes and that it remains a legal act.

Our establishments are not located close enough to the downtown market area that we get any real value from the convention business that comes to town. There are only about 50 to 60 bars that generally benefit.

However, [Welsh] is suggesting that my customers and those of over 300 of my associates suffer a loss of business to placate his inability to sell around this issue? How does he plan to compensate us when we go out of business? Or is the viability of local businesses not in his purview?

__________

Bill Smythe
General manager, Vice president of operations
Claude & Annie’s 

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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