Eagle County smoking ban begins
EAGLE COUNTY ” Four months after Eagle County voters overwhelmingly endorsed a smoking ban, public places in Avon and unincorporated parts of the county are officially smoke-free.
The county’s strict smoking ban went into effect Saturday. The ban covers unincorporated Eagle County, including Edwards, Beaver Creek, Eagle-Vail and the El Jebel area in the Roaring Fork Valley. Avon also passed its own ban, which went into effect Saturday, too.
The ban doesn’t affect Vail, Minturn, Eagle or Gypsum.
Chris Doyle, manager of Bob’s Place in Avon, said he’s personally indifferent to the ban, but the bar will get rid of its ash trays and ask smokers to put out their cigarettes.
“We’re just going to educate people along those lines,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a bad thing in the long run.”
Doyle said about half of his bar patrons were smokers before the ban went into effect. “I’m curious to see how it’s going to affect business,” he said.
Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy said the ordinance will mostly be enforced by bar operators and other business owners.
“This ordinance is going to be self-enforcing,” he said.
The sheriff’s office may get called when a patron refuses to put out a cigarette or leave a bar, Hoy said. The violation would then be public disturbance or a similar charge, he said.
In addition, the county hasn’t established a ticket for violation of the smoking ban yet, Hoy said.
“We can’t give tickets because we don’t have a ticket to give,” he said.
The ban will also apply in lift lines and on chairlifts in unincorporated Eagle County.
Anita Allen, spokeswoman for Vail Mountain, said employees at the mountain will approach people and tell them to put out cigarettes.
“There’s an obligation that Vail Resorts has to inform guests of the smoking ban ordinance,” she said.
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