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December 30, 2009

Should we fine businesses who leave doors open in winter?

Update via Pedestrian Shops on Twitter: “@elephantjournal So glad to see this impt issue discussed. We adopted our ‘Closed Door Policy’ in Aug 08.

Update via Downtown Boulder Association, which we love (they support so many local, indie businesses): George K owns Art Source, not Art Mart, and the doors at Art Source are closed! We’re checking to see if they’re always closed, or closed today…

Update: David Bolduc, a family friend and founder of the Boulder Bookstore (and BIBA, which we sponsor, see ad at left), just called my cell while I was putting together a Rat Packy slideshow with Robbie Stout‘s assistance for BMOCA’s huge New Year’s Eve Party to support the arts…and informed me that they’ve won all kinds of energy efficiency awards. In Summer when doors are open they use swamp coolers, which are equivalent of a few light bulbs…

…and in Winter, David said that, partially because “I’m tight-fisted with spending money on energy bills!,” they hardly heat the store beyond body heat and the lights, though it seems wonderfully cozy whenever I’m there. I gave him kudos, said I’d republish and push this to our award-winning twitter and  Facebook Page, and correct our prior info. I then asked David why others couldn’t use swamp coolers, like Laughing Goat or The Cup, and he said transitioning energy systems was awfully expensive.

My suggestion to David and others who are doing the right thing, even if it looks like they’re “leaving the refrigerator door open” in summer and letting out heat in the Winter: put a sign on the door that says: come on it! Our doors are open only because heat/AC is eco-responsible or something along those lines. That way, your patrons will know, and appreciate, that you’re trying to do the right thing.

Seth Brigham, resident troublemaker, just sent me his letter to Boulder’s Daily Camera. And he’s onto something, this time, I say.

We here at elephant have complained about the practice of leaving doors open in winter, talk about Global Local Warming, or Summer, when the AC just flies out the door, like your shop was a giant refrigerator with the door open. Still, many business owners (including {see correction under Update above} the Boulder Bookstore, owned by Buddhist buddies of mine) keep their doors open so that customers will come in more, so that they’ll be able to pay rent and mortgage and for children to go to school…

It’s s tough one.

From Seth Brigham:

I took note of Teresa Fosters’ “letter” about the irresponsible business owners on the Pearl Street Mall.

If you walk down the mall you know them, the ones that leave their doors open in the midst of winter weather.

This is a “practice” that has been going on since I came to Boulder in 1983.

Specifically, Teresa spoke of Art Mart’s unwillingness to close their doors, even when requested to do so.

… (incorrect info deleted re Art Mart, George K, Art Source) …

If it costs a hundred dollars to get caught with a dog on the mall, why not the same for keeping your doors open when it’s freezing outside?

Obviously, regulating behavior is necessary as greed is too powerful a force to think that people will act responsibly on their own.

And, I’d like to see the Chamber of Commerce opinion on this matter, this waste of energy.

~ Seth Brigham

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