The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

March 24, 2012

Bowling alley owners have mixed feelings about ban

ANDERSON, Ind. — Cheree Cooper-Fillmore, one of the owners of Cooper’s Sports Bowl, said Indiana’s smoking ban going into effect July 1 probably won’t have much of an impact on business at the bowling alley — but implications to Shouts Pub and Eatery will be huge.

“I think if you are going to make a bar go smoke-free, you should make that the rule for everyone,” she said. “It doesn’t seem fair. People who want to smoke will choose to go to another bar. We will have to be smoke-free, but you will be able to smoke in the bar down the street.”

Cooper's already has several “smoke-free” days or hours when smoking is prohibited: 1 to 10 p.m. Monday, 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 to 10 p.m. Friday, 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The facility is also smoke-free when it hosts activities involving children.

Cooper-Fillmore said she doesn’t think the ban at the bowling alley will affect business much. It may lose some customers because of the ban but also may gain others who are happy about the new regulation.

“We’ve heard from a lot of our bowlers that they are happy the ban is coming,” she said. “And then there are a lot that aren’t.”

Owners are already trying to create comfortable accommodations for smokers outside of the facility.

Jeff and Lisa Shockey of Crown Point were at Cooper’s for a youth bowling tournament Saturday. They both said they were happy to see the ban, but, like Cooper-Fillmore, they said it isn’t fair to ban smoking at the bar — which is closed off from the rest of the facility — when other bars are aren’t prohibited from allowing smoking.

“I bowl on several leagues and I’m not a smoker,” Jeff Shockey said. “The alley really can fill up with smoke, which can be bothersome.”

Lisa Shockey said she is discouraged from going to the bowling alley because of the strong smell of smoke.

Judy Rogers was bowling at East Side Lanes on Saturday. The Anderson resident bowls in two leagues and said it is a good thing that smoking will be banned.

“Smoke hurts my bowling sometimes,” she said. “I get to coughing and then the smoke can make my eyes water. And if someone is a die-hard bowler, I can’t imagine they would have a problem with it.”

East Side assistant manager Mary Bybee said non-smoking times at that facility are noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. East Side started that last summer and said weekends have gotten busier.

“It really is hard to say if it will affect us or not,” she said. “I think if they have somewhere to go, everything will be OK.”

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