• Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

Downtown Colorado Springs has encouraged retail gift hunting | Culture

ByKarla E. Kowalski

Nov 24, 2022


Jerry Mercado-Vargas at the former Mountain Standard Goods pop-up store

Many vacation shoppers prefer the downtown aesthetic. His penchant for bright, festive lighting and decoration far from large parking lots, his distance from the congestion and noise of the main thoroughfares, and his tendency to stock unique and hard-to-find items go a long way in attracting those who do may want a more traditional Christmas shopping experience.

As downtown retailers gear up for what is hoped to be the busiest month of the year, some of the area’s biggest advocates have been heating up the shopping season with a promotion aimed at bringing even more shoppers to the historic district.

In a campaign led by the Downtown Partnership and the Bank of Colorado, shoppers who spend $50 or more on a single retail visit now have a chance to reap some serious benefits.

“Shop Local, Win Local” rewards consumers who spend their hard-earned cash downtown between November 11 and December 11 by offering weekly prize draws and a final grand prize.

This is the second year that Downtown executives are offering the holiday promotion, and all shoppers have to do to participate is upload a photo of their receipts or email them to links on the campaign website (DowntownCS. com/holidays). They will enter weekly raffles – November 26th, December 1st, and December 8th – for gift baskets containing downtown retailer products and a $150 downtown gift card, as well as the grand prize drawing on December 15th in $1,000 Visa Gift Card.

Dan Nordberg, Bank of Colorado market president for Colorado Springs and co-founder of the campaign, says the concept grew out of conversations he had with Susan Edmondson, the

President and CEO of the partnership. “This time of year is a crucial shopping season for small retailers, and we wanted to do something to show what they’re doing for our community,” says Nordberg. “This draws attention to them while also rewarding the people who are patronizing the area.”

Tattered Cover Book Store manager Leah Guest said her staff are beyond excited about the campaign, especially as Tattered Cover is participating for the first time. “It’s good for us because it incentivizes customers to focus on local businesses when doing their Christmas shopping,” she says. “Everything that is good for the entire city center is also good for us as individual companies.”

Nordberg notes that last year’s campaign proved to be a notable success for the heart of the city and that this year the project leaders plan to hold their weekly draws at various retail locations.

“We’ve had tremendous feedback from both buyers and retailers after last year’s efforts, so it made sense to bring it back,” he says.

The campaign comes with conditions – restaurant and salon sellers are not included, for example. So, buyers should visit the website for more information.

“When you shop local, everyone wins,” says Edmondson. “The downtown stores offer unique items that people can’t find anywhere else. And when buyers support our independent businesses, our city’s economy is stronger.”

Downtown pop-ups


It’s strong testament to the thriving retail economy in downtown Springs that there was a shortage of empty storefronts to accommodate this year’s Christmas pop-up program. It’s the Downtown Development Authority’s project that’s bringing up-and-coming small retailers to empty storefronts for the holiday season.

But all is not lost yet! A few spots just opened up, so look for painter Jack Denton’s store at 31 E. Bijou St. and string instrument purveyor Moondog Music at 523 S. Cascade Ave., #140.

There’s also something to celebrate in the number of alumni who have become downtown fixtures – Rocky Mountain Soap Market (212 N. Tejon St., rockymountainsoapmarket.com), the local honey collective (9 E. Bijou St., thelocalhoneyco.com)Eclectic CO (214½ N. Tejon St. shopeclecticco.com), Crafted Colorado (327 N. Tejon St., facebook.com/CraftedColorado), good eye (115 N.Tejon St., #100facebook.com/TheGoodEyeShop) and mountain standard goods (109 E. Bijou St., mstgoods.com).

Downloadable Savings

You can save some money and support downtown businesses (Note: November 26th is Small Business Saturday!) by downloading a Discover Downtown Pass to your phone. You’ll find discounts and freebies at restaurants, bars, shops, and service and fun providers, including free passes to 3E’s Comedy Club, a free Biscuits & Gravy page at Urban Egg, and more. Download your savings at downtowncs.com/pass.