Smoking Now Illegal at Palmer Bars
New law in effect as of first of year
PALMER - With a new year comes new rules, one being that smoking is no longer allowed in Palmer bars.
“When everyone went out for the petitions and got those signatures, they could just tell it was going to pass,” said the chairman of Smokefree Palmer, David Cheezem.
Palmer is the first town in the Valley to go smoke-free. 452 people voted to pass the ordinance in October.
“I can come in here and drink,” said Mary Solstad. “I won’t be bothered by all the smoke.”
Solstad and her husband Paul Kriner said the new law is benefiting everyone.
“Being an ex-smoker, I think its great because there is nothing worse for ex-smokers than being in a smoking place,” said Kriner.
But local bar owners fear it will be bad for business. They said smokers would go to other businesses where they can light up, like the Mug-Shot Saloon in Wasilla.
“You get people voting on something that they have no concern about. It's not their business, they have no invested interest,” said Mug-Shot owner Ted Anderson.
He said he doesn’t see Palmer residents driving to his bar just to smoke inside. His other bar, Tailgaters, is smoke-free though.
“Most of the people, smokers and non-smokers, wanted us to go no-smoking at Tailgaters,” said Anderson.
He said he didn't see a difference in his bottom line, butts out or not.