West Jordan fireworks dealers see sales fizzle in light of aerial ban

Local News

WEST JORDAN (ABC4 Utah News) – Fireworks dealers in West Jordan say the city’s restriction on aerial fireworks is hitting them hard in the wallet.

Fireworks stands opened for Pioneer Day weekend on Friday but owners said sales were fizzling instead of sizzling.

Last week the West Jordan City Council voted to prohibit fireworks that go over 15 feet in the air except from 9:30 to midnight on July 24th in two designated areas: two baseball fields at Veterans Memorial Park on 7800 South and two fields at Ron Wood Baseball Complex on 9000 South.

West Jordan Fire Marshal Marc McElreath calls it a good compromise.

“Balancing the people’s wanting to light fireworks and also trying to keep the city safe,” Chief McElreath said.

On Friday afternoon, three of the four stands ABC4 Utah News visited in West Jordan were ghost towns without a customer in sight. Lisa Davis has owned SOS Fireworks at the corner of 7000 South and Redwood Road for the past 12 years.

“I’m frustrated…I’m sure it will affect our business,” Davis said. “50 percent maybe. I’m guessing.”

Wayne Mortimer has been selling TNT fireworks for the past 26 years. He also says the city’s aerial ban is cutting his profits in half.

“It digs about 50 percent into our business,” Mortimer said. “A lady came in and said ‘Where is it legal?’ She was going to spend $500 in buying things like this and she looked at the map and we showed ’em the map because the fire department’s been out to our place today, showed ’em the map and she says ‘Oh that’s too far away and that’s too much. I’ll have to go home and think about it.’ There goes a sale most likely.”

Mortimer says aerial fireworks are designed to come down to the ground as cooled ashes ad that fireworks dealers are getting “a bad rap”.

“To somebody that depends on this to help them provide for money for college education, for mission funds, for schooling, things like that,” Mortimer said. “Let me tell you, it digs in.”

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