Glazer: Kansas City Held Hostage by Star’s Smokescreen

 

According to Westport leader and merchant Bill Nigro, the KC Star is not telling you the entire story when it comes to the smoking ban in Kansas City.

"They are not telling you the truth," said Nigro, following his meeting with The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Nigro felt that after reading the Star’s Saturday front page story, they left out most of what he explained at the event.

The Star story indicated that the no smoking law had NO economic impact on business.

Nigro said in front of the media, "It’s effected many jobs, people are now out of work because of the it. More important, the city allows people to smoke at the Power and Light District, which it owns. Worse yet, they ALLOW SMOKING IN ALL CASINOS.

Guess they don’t care about your health there, huh?

The ban has dropped bar business by half in spots like Westport, Dave’s Stagecoach Inn and Kelly’s," Nigro said.

None of this made the front page story.

Nigro feels the issue is all about money and where the city will allow the law and where they won’t, not about your "good health."

"For God’s sake I don’t even smoke, but many people who go out after 10 p.m. do and they want to smoke in the bars, not outside in the cold like animals. It’s not fair that the Casinos can provide smoking and the rest of the bars outside Power and Light can and everybody else can’t," Nigro continued.

Nigro’s joke: "Hey Mister Bartender, I’m out late trying to have unprotected sex with a strange woman I will meet and know for one hour, and I’m trying to get drunk, and this damn guy is blowing smoke in my face."

Nigro feels its just another money grab by the city and covered up by local media and do-gooders to look like they care when really they don’t.

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18 Responses to Glazer: Kansas City Held Hostage by Star’s Smokescreen

  1. Mouse says:

    Watch out KCC – this is getting awfully close to real reporting.

  2. TigerVIP says:

    Not sure this is the absolute truth…
    You sure sales are down because of smoking or because NOONE goes to Kelly’s, Westport or whatever Stagecoach Inn. I don’t know anyone of my friends that no longer goes out because of smoking. Sounds like a Red Herring to me by Nigro. Unfortunately, those bars are failing because quite frankly they have been left behind by all of the ‘new’ areas or options people have today in KC. As a smoker I am pleasantly surprised how much better the bar experience is without the smoke. Glazer you said it yourself the last time you drove through Westport…Ghost town. Not because of a smoking ban…come on, man. Please give us more credit.

    And to be fair you CANNOT smoke inside ANY of the bars in KCP&L but it is quite curious that most of the clubs were built with pseudo outdoor patio features than can accomodate most smokers. Hmmmm, wonder if Cordish knew about the ban before the rest of us did?

  3. Gerald Bostock says:

    I don’t know if Cordish was given a heads-up on the smoking ban. What is more likely is that because of their awareness of the national trends over the last 20 years, they knew that smoking restrictions were becoming more stringent and that smoking bans were inevitable. It’s not some cynical political deal; it’s just smart business–just like anyone building a facility now will incorporate greater energy efficiency and sustainability into the design. It’s called progress.

  4. DVD says:

    Good thing you tracked down an unbiased, objective source to get the facts from, or else we may never have known the true depths of the tragedy that is the smoking ban. Oh wait! This story has no facts! Only an angry bar owner who threw out the term “half.” Well, if that’s true, then we should do some research in Westport to find out what makes it so drastically different from the rest of the country, because almost across the board, smoking bans have been found to have no significant impact on bar sales. See for my EVIDENCE (something you might want to look into before “reporting” things, Mr. Glazer) a study done in El Paso in 2002 which also references similar studies done in other cities with similar findings at : http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5307a2.htm

  5. Bill Nigro says:

    The Truth
    Nationally, the smoking ban only affects nite clubs and bars, not food establishments. You can’t expect smoking bans to work unless it’s everywhere. Several surrounding cities have no ban, or exemptions like private clubs, so someone will always be affected. The Star is covering up the real truth. Most bars were affected by 5 to 15%. The way they did the studies were flawed and included fast food places that already were smoke free before the ban. No study was done strictly on nite clubs and bars. The KC Star covered up critical information 3 years ago on the smoking ban fight, that led to their 1.5% win. The KC Star has been writing one sided articles about the smoking ban from day one. I challenge any writer from the star or the foundation to a real debate, anywhere, any time about the real truth about the smoking ban and the real truth about 2nd hand smoke. Alot of single parents were displaced over the bans. The people pushing the bans should be ashamed of themselves. Putting people out of work for your goals is un-american and unethical. Education has been making it go away since the 60s when I was a kid. The Clean Air people got $400,000 from the American Cancer society to fight the ban in KC, how much did they spend nationally, when it could have gone into research to find a cure.
    I thought people came to America for the freedom to live a little less restricted. You don’t have to go into a smoky place. Supply and demand has been fixing the market and so has education, that’s why I don’t smoke. The biggest lie is that there were so many less hard attacks because of less 2nd hand smoke. The Health Foundation and the Star are blowing the real smoke and everyone keeps inhaling it. Bill Nigro

  6. TigerVIP says:

    Wait a minute Nigro…
    Are we debating the merits or legality of the smoking ban? Because that’s not what the original article was about. Nor was it what any of our comments are about.

    The ORIGINAL article (if you can call it that) by Glazer was stating that bars (in particular Kelly’s, Stagecoach Inn and Beaumont I assume) are failing because of the smoking ban. Newsflash…the SMOKING BAN has NOTHING to do with the dip in revenues of those places and everything to do with the fact that Westport is dead. You can be upset with Cordish and the City for P&L but stop with the red herring’s about the smoking ban. Quit making excuses. Maybe it’s time for a change or maybe it’s time to shut the doors but I would be embarassed as a bar owner to whine about my revenues because of a smoking policy.

  7. harley says:

    MORE BULLSHIT
    Every study by any recognized medical institute tells us that second hand smoke is dangerous.
    So why if i go into a bar should i have to put up with someone elses smoking habit and suck in their
    shitty smoke.
    Forget the american way crap already. Forget the free of restrictions….i consider smokers animals…
    don’t want to be around them…can’;t stand to smell their filthy smoke…and most importantly don’t
    want to breathe the shit they smoke.
    I seriously doubt that westport bars are going out of biz because of the smoking ban.
    Other bars/restaurants all over the city that ban smoking are doing well…very well even in some
    down economic times. Why? Its probably because they market their products and serve good
    food.
    Westport is dead….glazer and his buddies turned it into the hood. Bringning in hoodlums and
    gang members into THEIR BARS! Youguys needed biz so you turned your places into bad
    hangouts for bad people.
    No more whining.
    If kellys or the other worn out bars in westport are dead its because 1. competition: they didnt
    compete against other entertainment areas. 2. Kansas: theres so many sports bars/nigth spots/
    entertainment/etc. in kansas so people with the money stay in kansas. Westport can’t compete..
    with the ban or not.
    Stop blaming others…..i wouldnt go to westprot if the drinks were free…..bad pr and bad
    bars…and besides….the really classy and worthwhile women are in kansas so why drive all the
    way to mid town or daves to look at the skanks that frequent those nasty places!

  8. jjskck says:

    As someone who actually likes Westport…
    …I don’t see people complaining much about going to the (mostly heated) patios to smoke. Most of my friends who smoke actually like the smoke-free environment; I’ve never heard one of them complain about feeling like an “animal” because they have to go outside under a propane lamp to light up.

    My issue with the smoking ban is that it should have included the casinos. If it’s about public health and the health of employees (as was quoted in the article), then you can protect THOUSANDS of people in one fell swoop. Alas, they pussed out because the casino lobby actually would have thrown money at it. Much easier to exempt them instead of, you know, standing on principle.

  9. Markus Aurelius says:

    The solution is simple….
    …..eliminate the exemption for the casinos and it will take away the rationale for other bar owners to complain and whine. The casinos never should have had an exemption in the first place. Perhaps the original logic for the exemption was that gambling is bad for you and smoking is bad for you so subjecting people to both at the same time either gets some people to stop their behavior or it kills them off early. Perhaps they thought it might deter non-smoking gambling addicts or risk-averse smokers from going to the boats. Of course, we know that’s a bunch of bunk. The real reason was to cowtow to the casinos, which is garbage.

    Bill Nigro is right about one thing – we’d all be better off with a uniform smoking ban – get rid of it in all restaurants and bars in all municipalities. However, that requires competent, thoughtful, brave legislatures in both Jeff City and Topeka to pass statewide smoking bans and rural legislators in both towns will never let that happen.

    In the end, people vote on the ban with their feet. Although I grew up in Gladstone and our family still lives in the Northland, we refuse to go out to eat at any restaurant in Gladstone because they still allow smoking. There are several restaurants along N. Oak and Antioch that we would otherwise frequent but it’s so much nicer to find somewhere in KC or Liberty and avoid the smell. Of course, I’m sure smokers from other parts of the city come to Gladstone specifically because they do allow smoking. In the end, I would guess it’s a wash regarding whether they have more or less patrons before/after a smoking ban.

  10. % says:

    Of casinos and red herring
    Yeah, the casino exemption is a good finger to point at if you’re looking for unfairness in the smoking issue. Guess they had a better lobbying effort than the bars and restaurants did.

    But for that matter, if you’re going to point at biased data from the health care industry, check the restaurant and bar association data, too. Most of these organizations were established by the tobacco industry and receive most of their funding from Big Tobacco to produce their “research.”

  11. The Funk says:

    Nigro Has A Point
    Nigro is right about one thing, if they cared about health it would be at the Casinos as well. Not fair.

  12. Markus Aurelius says:

    The solution is simple….
    …..eliminate the exemption for the casinos and it will take away the rationale for other bar owners to complain and whine. The casinos never should have had an exemption in the first place. Perhaps the original logic for the exemption was that gambling is bad for you and smoking is bad for you so subjecting people to both at the same time either gets some people to stop their behavior or it kills them off early. Perhaps they thought it might deter non-smoking gambling addicts or risk-averse smokers from going to the boats. Of course, we know that’s a bunch of bunk. The real reason was to cowtow to the casinos, which is garbage.

    Bill Nigro is right about one thing – we’d all be better off with a uniform smoking ban – get rid of it in all restaurants and bars in all municipalities. However, that requires competent, thoughtful, brave legislatures in both Jeff City and Topeka to pass statewide smoking bans and rural legislators in both towns will never let that happen.

    In the end, people vote on the ban with their feet. Although I grew up in Gladstone and our family still lives in the Northland, we refuse to go out to eat at any restaurant in Gladstone because they still allow smoking. There are several restaurants along N. Oak and Antioch that we would otherwise frequent but it’s so much nicer to find somewhere in KC or Liberty and avoid the smell. Of course, I’m sure smokers from other parts of the city come to Gladstone specifically because they do allow smoking. In the end, I would guess it’s a wash regarding whether they have more or less patrons before/after a smoking ban.

  13. Markus Aurelius says:

    The solution is simple….
    …..eliminate the exemption for the casinos and it will take away the rationale for other bar owners to complain and whine. The casinos never should have had an exemption in the first place. Perhaps the original logic for the exemption was that gambling is bad for you and smoking is bad for you so subjecting people to both at the same time either gets some people to stop their behavior or it kills them off early. Perhaps they thought it might deter non-smoking gambling addicts or risk-averse smokers from going to the boats. Of course, we know that’s a bunch of bunk. The real reason was to cowtow to the casinos, which is garbage.

    Bill Nigro is right about one thing – we’d all be better off with a uniform smoking ban – get rid of it in all restaurants and bars in all municipalities. However, that requires competent, thoughtful, brave legislatures in both Jeff City and Topeka to pass statewide smoking bans and rural legislators in both towns will never let that happen.

    In the end, people vote on the ban with their feet. Although I grew up in Gladstone and our family still lives in the Northland, we refuse to go out to eat at any restaurant in Gladstone because they still allow smoking. There are several restaurants along N. Oak and Antioch that we would otherwise frequent but it’s so much nicer to find somewhere in KC or Liberty and avoid the smell. Of course, I’m sure smokers from other parts of the city come to Gladstone specifically because they do allow smoking. In the end, I would guess it’s a wash regarding whether they have more or less patrons before/after a smoking ban.

  14. MoCrash says:

    Ban doesn’t help
    Even if I concede that second-hand smoke is potentially harmful, although the methodology of the studies which suggest so are exceptionally flawed and there’s no proof that an exposure of 2-3 hours once a week — what one might expect of a typical bar patron — will produce significant health risks, the issue is one of private property rights. If the owner of an establishment wishes to allow smoking, I do not see it incumbent upon the government to impose on that decision. If non-smokers object, then they have the option of not patronizing that establishment.

    As a smoker, I take the opposite approach: I do no business with food and drink establishments — places where I can expect to spend an hour or two of my recreational time — which do not allow smoking (whether by law or voluntarily). This has significantly reduced the money I’ve spent in Kansas City the last few years; there are plenty of places outside the city I can frequent.

  15. Morey says:

    Who Cares?
    So now Glazer is a real reporter? Right. This is kinda a done deal Glazer and Nigro. The nation has decided smoking is harmful and will continue to attack the places who accept it. Just like DUI’s, no reality, just PC right now. So give it up, you lose.

  16. Gerald Bostock says:

    The private property argument is weak. These are businesses that governments need to regulate. Should we call off Health Department inspections of kitchen cleanliness and proper food preparation because restaurants are “private property”? That is asinine. Should building inspectors stop checking for flaws like poorly designed skywalks because hotels like the Hyatt Regency KC are private property? Waving the private property flag does not give you a free pass to cut corners, put people’s lives at risk and engage in every self-indulgent activity you can concoct.

  17. Rainbow Man says:

    The only problem
    The fact that the casinos are exempt is almost unconstitutional. That is the real issue.

  18. bony james says:

    a better solution
    BAN SECONDHAND SMOKE

Comments are closed.