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Two Riverton restaurants go smoke-free

Jan 13, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Riverton residents looking to dine out or have a drink but do not like to sit in a smoky room have two more options. The Trailhead Family Restaurant stopped allowing smoking indoors in November and the Ore Bucket Lounge of the Sundowner Station did so in May.

The Trailhead decided to prohibit smoking "to make the atmosphere a little more pleasant," shift manager Steven Huntly said.

In the past, the restaurant had a smoking and a non-smoking section. There is now a smoking area outside.

The Fremont County Prevention Management Organization helped both businesses to become smoke-free, said community prevention professional Theresa Harmati.

"As time has gone by I think they realized how important it is for their staff as well as their customers to be in a healthier environment," she said.

The Trailhead has many "family-oriented" customers, Huntly said, who did not like the smoke. Huntly has heard both positive and negative feedback since the switch.

Employees have responded well to the change, he said.

"The whole entire restaurant has been cleaned," Huntly said. "There's no residue, not even a linger that we used to be a smoking restaurant."

Employees used a degreaser on the walls and deep-cleaned all parts of the restaurant, including the ceiling, he said.

"The smoke from the lounge was going into the restaurant and the families eating in there," said Deanna Powell of the Sundowner Station. "They didn't want their kids subjected to the smoke, so we made a decision we were going to go smoke-free."

Claimstake Restaurant has not allowed smoking for longer, but the motel portion of the business still has some smoking rooms.

"We did it for what some customers asked for, some had some suggestions and stuff like that," Powell said about becoming smoke-free. "We put that all together and kind of based our decision off that."

Smoking also is allowed in the courtyard, which has outdoor seating and tables.

"It's a little more inconvenient for the smokers, but a lot of them actually don't mind," Powell said.

She is happy with the change.

Employees also scoured the Ore Bucket, Powell said. They cleaned it from the floor to the ceiling, put new oil on the wood walls and shampooed the carpet.

"If someone does want to have a cigarette, they have the option to go outside; and the non-smokers, they are breathing clean air now," Powell said. "We tried to make it convenient for everyone -- not just a certain group."

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