Durango’s latest rewards program is off to a racing start.
The Durango business community’s gift card program has siphoned thousands of dollars into the city’s economy in its first week.
The Spring Rewards Program is part of an effort to help local businesses recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, put on by the Durango Business Improvement District and the Chamber of Commerce, encourages shoppers to spend at least $100 at eligible businesses by offering them a reward: a gift card to local establishments.
“This is the second time BID and the chamber have partnered to support our businesses in this new way,” said Tim Walsworth, BID executive director. “The first was our holiday rewards program late last year.”
The program launched March 26 and recorded $49,248 of local spending, which includes both receipts returned and rewards claimed, in its first week. Its goal is $60,000.
“We’re gonna blow our goal away,” Walsworth said. “It’s a conservative number for what the program will produce. ... We’re going to get to that goal way faster than we thought.”
People can participate if they shop at Durango Chamber of Commerce and/or Durango Business Improvement District member businesses. The eligible businesses include more than 100 restaurants, 100-plus retail businesses and 20 or more businesses in each of the remaining sectors, lodging, personal services and attractions.
The program is based on receipt submissions. Customers need to save paper receipts of $30 or more at eligible businesses, circle the total and initial beside it, then take a picture of each receipt.
Once they have spent at least $100, they can submit their receipts at the Downtown Durango website.
The reward for $100 or more in local spending is a $20 gift card; for $200, a $50 card; and for $300 or more, a $100 reward. The program is sponsored by the Bank of Colorado and Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center.
All of the gift cards at the top level, the $100 reward, were claimed as of Friday, Walsworth said. The program will end once all the gift cards have been claimed.
The program comes with a list of requirements. For example, digital receipts and invoices aren’t accepted. People can submit up to 10 receipts from different eligible businesses to meet the spending requirements. There can be only one entry for each household, which includes anyone living in the same residence.
“We do have our ways of checking, so we’ll catch it if someone tries to scam us,” Walsworth said. “That’s just so more people can earn a reward. So one per household.”
The BID and chamber will wait until all rewards are claimed to distribute gift cards. His advice? Hurry.
“We do have limited quantity,” Walsworth said. “We have a budget. ... When they’re gone, they’re gone.”