BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — One of the most popular attractions in Boca Raton is Mizner Park. Featuring legacy restaurants like Max’s, trendy shops and a beautiful outside area, there’s no question as to why Mizner is a must-see for tourists, part of a routine for “locals,” and featured in Florida-based television shows and tourism campaigns.
But what isn’t highlighted in tourist materials or TV series is the horrible, sickening and disease-ridden smell of cigarette smoke — something that is incredibly permitted despite the fact that most of Mizner Park is is run by a private company — General Growth Properties — that absolutely has the right to ban smoking on its property.
Friday night alone, diners eating early with little kids on the patio at Yard House were treated to the unidentified woman you see in the photo above sending cigarette smoke into the outdoor eating area.
Legal? Sadly, yes. Good business in 2014? Absolutely not.
It’s just as bad as emerging from the clean environs of the outstanding iPic theater, only to be greeted by Rico and Rita Suave wannabes puffing away. (We’re ethnic agnostic here, it could just as well be Richard Suavstein. We mean no offense).
We know the crazy pro-smoking people will load up our inbox with email telling us how it’s their right to smoke and our right to eat inside where smoking is illegal.
Yes, you are legally allowed to smoke where it’s permitted. You are also legally allowed to die from lung cancer, so we wish you well.
But in South Florida, where the tourist business model is based on fresh air and clean, outdoor living, it is nothing short of astonishing that the death inducing practice of smoking is permitted at Mizner. It is equally incredible that chains like Yard House and iPic Theaters don’t take a page from Starbucks and ban smoking within 25 yards of the establishment.
But let’s start with Mizner’s management company. We call on Growth Properties to grow into the year 2014 and follow the footsteps of hotel chains, restaurant chains and other shopping centers and ban smoking once and for all. Might you push away some tourists and customers? Yes. But will you attract new business, families and customers who won’t need oxygen tanks or respirators? Absolutely.
Living customers are good for business.