Hospitality Industry: TX Dallas Hotels

Texas Hotels: Smoking Ban Choking Future Profits

Bans Include Hotel Meeting Rooms Rented By Conventioneers

January 5, 2005

DALLAS — Dallas hotels had much to celebrate New Year’s weekend as the Cotton Bowl provided a real boom for business, but there is deep concern about the future.
Some in the industry are still fuming at the city’s smoking ban, which they say is burning a hole in their bottom line.

Dallas hotels craving convention business said the city’s smoking ban is choking future profits.

Word is out that the ban isn’t just in public spaces; it bans smoking in hotel meeting rooms rented by conventioneers.

Some say a dollar figure can’t be put on it. Dallas ranks in the top 10 nationally in convention business with the ban instead of worrying about Houston and San Antonio.

The Hyatt’s Steve Dissotzky believes smokers will drive the extra miles if it means they can light up.

In a letter to the mayor, the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau said it hasn’t lost any business because of the ban, but the bureau isn’t in the hotel business.

With the recent sale of major hotels there is concern that where there’s no smoke, there’s no profit.

The smoking ban is in line with trends nationally.

The hotel association said they will continue lobbying city leaders to get them to relax the ban for hotel meeting rooms.

Study says smoking ban caused restaurants to lose money

7 December 2004?
Sales of alcoholic beverages have declined by $11.7 million in Dallas restaurants since the city instituted a smoking ban, according to an economic impact study commissioned by Dallas restaurant owners.

The Greater Dallas Restaurant Association on Monday released the survey to its members. The survey was conducted by Bernard Weinstein and Terry Clower, professors of economics at the University of North Texas.

The study shows that since March 1, 2003 when the ban was instituted, suburban cities saw alcoholic beverage receipts increase. The study also showed there have been several restaurant closings and a reported loss of revenue at many Dallas restaurants from the smoking ban.

“Unfortunately, the findings in this report are consistent with what we expected would happen when the city banned smoking in Dallas restaurants,” said Tracey Evers, executive director of the restaurant association. “The findings are consistent with what happened in Carrollton and Plano when those cities initially banned smoking.”

Evers said both cities later repealed the bans.

Mark Maguire, immediate past president of the association, said the group will continue to monitor the impact the smoking ban has on its members, and plan to have future conversations with Dallas officials.

The Greater Dallas Restaurant Association has more than 1,000 members. The group promotes growth of the restaurant industry by providing educational programs, public awareness campaigns, and grass-roots government affairs initiatives.

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