After more than six decades of allowing smoking, The Beacon Club will become a largely smoke-free establishment beginning Sept. 4.

Manager Carrie DePaemelere told K2 Radio News on Wednesday that patrons' feedback regarding the upcoming change has been overwhelmingly positive, and she believes it will prove to be a boon for business.

"As we've talked to people outside of the Beacon, they have told us, 'I'd come in more, but the smoking really bothers me,' or, 'I'd come in, but I don't want to smell like smoke when I walk out.'"

"That's the real reason that we've decided to change everything up," Depaemelere explained.

Patrons who wish to smoke will still be able to do so in a back room, which previously housed pool tables, and a secure patio will be available for those who wish to smoke outside.

"Hopefully it will make the best of both worlds for both the smokers and the non-smokers, so we do want to experience a customer growth," Depaemelere added.

The change comes just a few weeks before the fall return of Thankful Thursday, which will run weekly from Sept. 27 through Nov. 15, then after the holidays from Jan. 24 through May 2.

"Thankful Thursday has been a very integral part of the Beacon for a very long time, and we want to make the best of it," Depaemelere said. "I think the non-smoking will help, but we always want to be the people that help charities' funding."

The event has raised over $1.4 million for local charities since its inception.

"I think the attendance will go up tremendously, because it's a family event and people don't want to bring their children around smoking," Depaemelere continued. "So more families will come out."

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