Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Ritz-Carlton Flouts the Smoking Ban

I got a call from a Clayton business owner last Friday that the Ritz-Carlton planned to hold a cigar event in violation of the Clayton smoking ban. He said Clayton officials knew about the event and at first moved to stop it, but then relented and let it go on. Like many Clayton business owners, this owner is still furious at the Ritz-Carlton Cigar Club for selling out other Clayton businesses in order to secure their own exemption from the Clayton smoking ban. As we know, Pat Lindsey got wind of this and called the police. The Ritz got a $1000 ticket, but according to a poster on the Post-Dispatch website, flouting the law paid off for the Ritz:

"I have a family member that is a manager at the Ritz and spoke with that person yesterday. They, apparently, believed that they were in complete compliance with the law. They also said that there were plenty of county lawmakers who attended the event, that the event cost them $10K to put on, anyway, and most importantly, in this person's opinion, that the publicity they received from the violation garnered them an additional 30+ members to the Cigar Club.

The manager said they estimated those 30 members would generate around $50K in additional income for the Ritz.