Parker tobacco shop refuses to close despite health department warning

Coronavirus

PARKER, Colo. (KDVR) — The Tri-County Health Department taped warning letters to multiple businesses in Parker on Tuesday telling them to close during the COVID-19 pandemic because they’re not considered essential.

But the owner of Slo-Burn Cigar Lounge is refusing to comply.

“I support my family with this shop. If I close, it will absolutely devastate me and my family,” owner Lyle Tate said.

Tate said he has been using tape to maintain social distancing in his store and allows only one person at a time in his humidor.

“A liquor store can be opened. Downhill Brewery behind us can be opened and I don’t understand how a guy walking in buying a beer is more of an essential to him than one of my customers coming in and buying a premium cigar,” he said.

A spokesman for the Tri-County Health Department told FOX31 it is seeking voluntary compliance from businesses but will issue shut-down orders if businesses ignore the warning letter.

 “We absolutely feel like we’re in the right and we absolutely have a fundamental right to be open and stay in business,” said Tate.

Tate said he’d be willing to compromise and operate as a curbside delivery business but Tri-County Health told the Problem Solvers that’s not an option. 

If he continues to operate, Tri-County Health intends to issue a shut-down order.

Tate’s attorney Mark Wilson told FOX31 he’s prepared to file legal action if authorities try to close the Slo-Burn Cigar Lounge.

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