More Sheridan bars going smoke-free - KOTA Territory News

More Sheridan bars going smoke-free


Bar patrons were used to coming into the Rainbow Bar in Sheridan and having a smoke while drinking a beer.

But on June 22, the bar's owner, Brad Townsend decided it was time to go smoke-free after his father and uncle died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"They're both smokers, they both worked in bars their whole lives.  So I could see it coming.  I could see their health fail on them," said Townsend.

So far his staff seems pleased with the change.

"They're not as sick as much.  They even tell me that on a busy Friday night, Saturday morning they'd wake up and they'd have a 'smoke hangover,'" said Townsend.

The Mint Bar also went smoke-free in May and bars that still allow smoking like Rail's are seeing an increase in clientele.

"I've seen a little bit of unfamiliar faces, I guess you'd call them.  And the people that I see that come in do tend to be smokers for the most part," said Rail's owner Art Erickson.

But Townsend says his business has not dropped off.

"I've actually seen the business increase.  I've had a lot of people come in here that said that they liked to come into the Rainbow, especially now since it's non-smoking," said Townsend.

Although both Townsend and Erickson agree that without a state ban the decision should belong to each bar owner to go smoke-free or not.

"Unless they do it county-wide, it would be up to every owner of the bar," said Townsend.

"I really appreciate the fact that the Legislature in Wyoming and the City of Sheridan has allowed us as bar owners and business people to make our own decision in that regard," said Erickson.

The City of Sheridan is not looking into a smoking ban and it might take a long time for any Wyoming city to consider one.  The Casper City Council repealed a smoking ban last month after public outcry.

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