Downtown Tucson Partnership gift card program prepares for sixth round

Updated: May. 7, 2020 at 6:45 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Downtown Tucson Partnership's Gift Card Incentive Program will go live for the 6th round tomorrow.

"It has really provided a huge shot of revenue into the downtown businesses immediately," said Kathleen Eriksen, President & CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. "When people buy a gift card online, we then purchase those cards from the business and they receive an immediate bump in cash."

This is how the program works: You spend $25 dollars for a gift card that's worth $35 dollars. The extra $10 is paid for by a sponsor. This week Rio Nuevo sponsored the program for the second time. After this week's 6th round, the program will have invested $210,000 directly into downtown businesses. Each week 1000 gift cards are sold. The program sold out in less than 15 minutes the past two rounds.

The community can buy gift cards from more than 60 downtown Tucson businesses. The owner of Ceres Pasta, Carolyn O'Connor, said the program is very beneficial.

"It has just been great for increasing our sales numbers in these insecure and crazy times," O'Connor said.

COVID-19 hit during a typically busy season for O'Connor and she said every dollar from the gift card sales is helping.

"It just really good to get this chunk of cash essentially that you know you can use to keep open and keep running," she said. "It's going to help us all get through summer."

Eriksen said the program provides an incentive for people to return downtown.

"This program really bridges the gap between pre-COVID-19 and post COVID-19," she said. "We are excited for people to go back downtown and use their gift cards."

This week’s happy hour round goes live at 5 p.m. Friday. Find a link to the DTP Gift Card Inventive Program, here.

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