Casey Wells, Erie Events’ Executive Director, told the Erie County Convention Center Authority’s board of directors on Thursday that effective September 1 he wants to eliminate the organization’s re-entry policy, which allows patrons to smoke at designated smoking areas outside the facilities.
Currently, patrons attending events at the two venues are allowed to step outside during the event to smoke and then re-enter the facility. The new policy would eliminate that procedure to provide a more secure environment for all.
“We recently completed a comprehensive vulnerability assessment from the Department of Homeland Security where they identified the smoking re-entry policy at the Warner and Erie Insurance Arena as a significant safety and security risk.” Wells said.
Standard procedure in most venues nationwide prohibits patrons from exiting and then re-entering a facility, and Erie will be following suit.
“It’s time to make this move. It’s a security and a safety concern for our patrons,” Wells said.