BAXTER -- Michael McFarland, owner of Paul Bunyan Bowl in Baxter, announced Tuesday his bowling lanes will be smoke-free until 6 p.m.
An opponent of a potential smoke-free county ordinance, McFarland said smoking isn't an issue for that section of his business before 6 p.m.
Banning smoking after that hour would cost him an estimated 15 percent to 20 percent of his bowling league business, he said, based on what he's learned from other establishments that instituted bans. McFarland said government shouldn't be telling business owners what to do with their businesses and there is too much government control anyway.
"I'm totally against the government coming in and telling private business what to do," McFarland said. "It's very irritating."
McFarland, who's owned the bar and bowling alley for 16 years, said he knows his business and his customers. He estimated that eight or nine out of 10 customers at his establishment smoke. While business might bounce back eventually, he said he's unsure he would survive the first year of a smoking ban.
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