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Reaction to waiving fees for bars, taverns, and casinos in Mining City

Drunken Miner Bar in Butte
Posted at 2:24 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 18:19:44-05

BUTTE — The council of commissioners rejected the request by the Silver Bow Tavern Association to waive fees for bars, casinos, and restaurants, citing that the extension of hours was an olive branch.

"[Members of the Silver Bow Tavern Association] feel a little bit taken back by the remarks that were provided by some of the commissioners," said Thomas Davis, the president of the Silver Bow Tavern Association.

The council of commissioners made the decision to turn down the request because they felt it would have been unfair to other businesses.

"I think there are some questions about fairness. You know, what about the people in retail businesses, do we reduce theirs? What about the people that have — we've all been affected one way or another. I guess I’m really concerned, you know, the fairness of how do we reduce it for everybody," said John Sorich, a Butte-Silver Bow Commissioner.

The pandemic has affected individuals and businesses alike, but Davis says that bars and casinos have been unfairly targeted.

"Our point is that bars, casinos, and restaurants more importantly bars and casinos have been categorized or put in this box that we’re the epicenter of the COVID or we more likely have the ability to contract COVID in our facilities and our venues, which I believe is grossly unfair," Davis said.

Davis said that thanks to the extended hours, bars and casinos are seeing more patrons, especially when the Super Bowl aired, but it isn’t enough.

"Looking at the full picture of everything, we still are still limited on the capabilities of capturing sales, we're still limited on the hours of operation, we’re still not able to fully go to two o’clock." Davis said.