Local hotel says state smoking ban already impacting business - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local hotel says state smoking ban already impacting business

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Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Some Wisconsin hotel owners say the new smoking ban will not only snuff out the smoke it will also put out their guests.

The statewide smoking ban takes effect next summer and it will mean an end to designated smoking rooms.   Hotel owners are hoping to convince lawmakers to give them an exemption.
At the plaza hotel in Eau Claire, crews have already started converting smoking rooms.   Each room costs about $100 to convert and management says it's already affecting business.

Plaza Hotel Assistant Manager Jeremiah Reichert says, "Truck drivers and we have railroaders and stuff and they stay in their same room, same number every week and just today we swapped one room to non-smoking and I had to move a guest, all 8 reservations to another room."

The Plaza's assistant general manager did not know if the hotel's owner has applied for an exemption, but he knows they are working with state tourism officials to figure out their options.

Some lawmakers say tourists may take their business across state boarders if the state doesn't grant hotels an exemption.

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