Groove With Your Butts Out

Balcony Goes Smoke-Free


All butts are out for The Balcony Club’s first smoke-free night on Friday, April 13.

According to the club’s co-owner David Ford, who bought the club last June, this Friday, the second-floor nightclub will ask its patrons to refrain from smoking while inside the building, and instead, step outside to light up.

“We’ve partnered with Project Filter and they’ll survey close to 100 percent of our customers that night as they walk in the door,” explains Ford. “It’s a five-question survey, and if the feedback from our customers is that people enjoy it, then we’ll consider additional smoke-free nights.”

Ford says that initially, Project Filter, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s tobacco control program aimed at preventing teen smoking and promoting cessation among adults, approached The Balcony Club about simply handing out brochures on smoking cessation for educational purposes. Ford was the one to take it a step further and suggest the smoke-free experiment. And, he says, although he and his business partner David Ottens would like to not only host additional smoke-free nights, but eventually go smoke-free full time, the decision is in the hands of his customers.

“I really hope that it’s perceived not as an inconvenience but as a welcome, healthy change, says Ford. “I’ve asked around to get a read on it and the non-smokers are excited and most of the smokers say they don’t feel that stepping outside is an inconvenience. And I’m hoping our survey will find that as well. If the results come back and people say they want to smoke, that they’ll stop coming in, then we won’t push it, but we do want to create a venue that’s healthy and pleasant for everyone.”