Fort Collins is doing its part this year to support our local retailers with the Old Town Spree Passport. Here is how it works:
This November and December, the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association and 50+ shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Downtown Fort Collins are launching the inaugural Old Town Spree. Old Town Spree is a passport-style shopping rewards program that enters holiday shoppers for a chance to win thousands of dollars in Downtown Gift Cards!
Grab a Passport at any participating business or print your own Passport online. Spend $10 at participating Downtown businesses and get a sticker for your Passport. The more you spend, the more stickers you’ll earn! Once you’ve collected $100 worth of stickers, your Passport is complete and can be dropped off at any participating business to be entered to win $5,000 in prizes!
When: Friday, November 1st – Tuesday, December 31st
Hours: Regular Business Hours of Participating Businesses
Location: Participating Businesses in Downtown Fort Collins!
Price: No sign-up or advance registration needed! Grab your Passport at participating locations or print your Passport online!
For each Old Town Spree Passport you turn in, you’ll improve your chances to win over $5,000 dollars in prizes! Each submission automatically enters you to win a $250 Downtown Gift Card each Friday from November 8th – December 27th, or the Grand Prize $2,500 Gift Card and Elizabeth Hotel Suite Stay raffled off on December 31st!
Weekly Prizes: $250 Downtown Gift Card
Grand Prize: $2,500 Downtown Gift Card & Night Stay at a Suite in The Elizabeth Hotel!
Help make your shopping trip in Old Town as enjoyable as possible, use this link to the Fort Collins Parking Map.
Why shop local?
Keeping your dollars in your hometown has other advantages that are just as important as saving a few bucks, even if they’re not immediately obvious. Here are just several of the many benefits you can reap by shopping locally:
- A Stronger Economy. Local businesses hire local workers. In addition to staff for the stores, they hire local architects and contractors for building and remodeling, local accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business, and local ad agencies to promote it. They’re also more likely than chain stores to carry goods that are locally produced, according to the American Independent Business Alliance. All these factors together create a “multiplier effect,” meaning that each dollar spent in a local store can bring as much as $3.50 into the local economy. By contrast, large chain stores tend to displace more local jobs than they create because they often drive local retailers out of business.
- A Closer Community. Shopping at local businesses gives neighbors a chance to connect with each other. It’s easier to get to know someone you see often at a local coffeehouse than someone you only wave to on your way in and out of your house. Knowing your neighbors makes it possible to exchange favors, such as pet-sitting or sharing tools.
- A Cleaner Environment. Having stores in your immediate neighborhood means you can leave your car parked and do your errands on foot or on a bicycle. Fewer cars on the road means less traffic, less noise, and less pollution. If you could make just one trip each week on foot instead of making a 10-mile round trip by car, you would reduce your annual driving by 520 miles. This would save more than 24 gallons of gas and keep 0.2 metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, according to calculations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Better Health. Running errands on foot is better for your health. It provides much-needed exercise that helps keep your weight under control, strengthens your heart, and prevents disease. A 2011 study published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society found that U.S. counties with thriving local businesses also have lower mortality rates, a slimmer population, and a lower incidence of diabetes.
- A Great Place to Live. The last factor is more difficult to measure than the others, but it’s just as important: Local businesses simply make your town a better, more interesting place to live. One suburban housing development looks much like another, but a town center with thriving local businesses has a feel that’s all its own. Local eateries, bars, bookstores, food markets, pharmacies, and gift shops all combine to give a place its unique character.
When you invest money in your local economy, you’re not just helping local business owners – you’re also helping yourself. You’re making your town a better place to live in, with a rich character, a thriving economy, and a tightly knit community. And the more local businesses prosper, the more new ones will open – making it even easier to continue shopping locally in the future.
Which local businesses do you visit regularly? What types of businesses do you wish Fort Collins had?