And then a bar/restaurant in the middle of the rally posts no smoking signs and blows the arguments against South Dakota's pending smoking ban all to heck.
Located right on Main Street, the Loud American Roadhouse is always a popular Rally restaurant, and managers say the switch to non-smoking hasn't changed that. In fact, they're not having problems filling tables at all.
"Actually, we're having a record year, by far. We are way, way up over last year," owner Dean Kinney said.
Kinney hung the non-smoking signs last November. Since that time, business has boomed, but the real test was the Rally. By the looks of things, his restaurant passed.
"In fact, it almost feels like so many of the guests are from out of state from places where it's kind of the norm so we have literally heard almost nothing about it whatsoever," Kinney said [Karla Ramaekers, "Switch to Non-Smoking 'Positive' During Rally," KELOLand.com, 2009.08.07].
Gee, did anyone else stop and think that folks who spend all day riding in the open air might actually enjoy fresh air indoors too?
The Rapid City Journal's Jessica Kokesh covered the Loud American's smart business move last week. Kokesh also notes management at First Gold Casino in Deadwood got similarly good responses from customers and employees on creating smoke-free spaces.
Maybe the nanny-staters are right: we don't need government to ban smoking. Businesses will just realize on their own that going smoke-free is just plain good for business.