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Raleigh promoting 'shop downtown' gift cards

Posted October 30, 2013

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— The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is offering a special gift card aimed at encouraging shoppers to spend their money with local merchants this holiday season.

The “Shop Downtown” gift cards will be available Friday in denominations from $10 to $500.

More than 80 shops and restaurants have already signed up to participate in the gift card program, including the Marriott and Sheraton hotels and Shish Kabob. The city is hoping the cards will generate at least $25,000 in sales.

David Diaz, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Downtown Raleigh Alliance, said the cards will help make downtown a shopping destination and inspire residents to go local.

"We're hoping this brings more shoppers downtown, he said. "In this day and age, folks are looking for things that are unique and local, and they want to help the community. This is a good way they can help the community."

The card campaign was well received by residents who learned about it Wednesday.

"That is an ingenious idea," shopper Angie Demery said. "I would love to have a gift card. Any increment will be fine."

Mary Lou Elinloth agreed: "I think it's a fabulous idea. Anything to support downtown Raleigh.

The cards can be purchased online or at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance office during regular business hours. There is a $1 activation fee per card.
 

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  • dwntwnboy2 Oct 31, 2013

    "I did notice that new place on South Blount that sells expensive, fancy Segways and paddle boards.... When that place folds the owner will wonder how in the world it didn't fly."- they have been there for years now. They do Segway tours daily and I see them all over the place dwntwn. In fact, just purchased several Segway tours myself for friends for xmas. They are doing fine from what I've seen, hope they do well and expand. Some people are so negative about everything, sad really.

  • dwntwnboy2 Oct 31, 2013

    For those looking for fantastic gifts- fantastic LOCAL gifts, I would point you towards Design Box on Martin near Dawson St. They focus on gifts and things that are local and are part of First Friday. They even do a third friday or something like that for the end of the month as well. Support your local shops- there are more and more all the time. Deco is another great shop- unique items- some local. While it's true there COULD be more offerings in dwntwn, until the people are there to support it, they won't open. With the growth we have seen recently, wouldn't surprise me to see some major names looking at moving back to dwntwn. Belks used to be there- but it was during the Fay. St Mall days when dwntwn died at 6pm. It's wonderful to see the dwntwn scene grow!! Plenty of parking too!

  • drjones74 Oct 31, 2013

    Trust me when I say downtown is doing just fine without the haters. I would be glad to expound on the many ways I personally find downtown life superior to any other part of the City. But my opinions aside, I can point out objective things too such as the fact that I walk to work every day. I use less than a tank of gas a month. I pay $875 a month for a nice 2 bedroom apartment. Also keep in mind the tax values of downtown subsidize the cost of services elsewhere in the City. To the people who dislike downtown remember, we support your low density, beige lifestyle whether you realize it or not.

  • Save It Oct 31, 2013

    What downtown Raleigh needs to entice shoppers is fewer niche, boutique, urban and pawn shops. Open a Macy's. Where's the Best Buy? How about a grocery store.

    No gift card is going to entice many people to travel into downtown to buy a $300 pair of jeans or a $4500 Segway. No one shops downtown because it's not convenient and the stuff they want is not there. The shops cater to the urban hipster crowds hoping to impress in $300 denim.

    This is actually hurting residential development in Raleigh. Raise your hand if you bought and swallowed the realtor lie about the demand for $300K two bedroom apartments. Many of those units are empty. A part of this is because you have to drive to Cameron Village to get to a grocery store. Perhaps developers will take this into account when renovating the old Dillon warehouses.

    Don't even get me started on City Market's fall from grace. Once Greenshield's burned again they could have turned that back into the original market.

  • Save It Oct 31, 2013

    "If downtown is such a great place, then why do they need to constantly try and find ways to manipulate people to come down there. North Hills does not have the same problem, people go there without being manipulated to do so. They love going there"

    A. Traffic
    B. Parking
    C. Long walks or back to the car for a drive to the next store
    D. Smelly panhandlers
    E. Selection (most downtown retail is weird, niche boutiques)
    F. The majority of the local population DOES NOT live there (contrary to what city planners want anyone to believe)
    G. Banksters and Lawyers (people in suits) everywhere H. Prices are absurd for the boutique, limited selection (North Hills has Target and Penny's)

    I might be able to complete the alphabet listing the differences between North Hills or Briar Creek and downtown Raleigh. There really is no comparison except you can eat and get drunk at any of these locations.

  • matt_wood Oct 31, 2013

    "If downtown is such a great place, then why do they need to constantly try and find ways to manipulate people to come down there. North Hills does not have the same problem, people go there without being manipulated to do so. They love going there"

    Why does Clorox still advertise everywhere? The same reason all cities and shopping centers promote themselves, it's called strategic growth and marketing. You stop doing promotions and people get bored and look elsewhere. And if you think North Hills doesn't do it's own promotions, you're wrong. Again, it's obvious you just like to complain. and the promotions are not just to attract consumers but also businesses. Businesses don't want to move into an area where there's no promotion.

  • Save It Oct 31, 2013

    Is the gift card going to cover the cost of the parking tickets?

    I particularly enjoyed my last visit to the front porch of the Busy Bee when the garbage truck pulled up at 6:30 in the evening to collect the trash on the curb next to us. Very appetizing. So are the bums from the bus station.

    Plenty of restaurants and bars downtown. Wouldn't even know where to shop for anything else. There's retail there? Who would know since there are so many bars you can even pedal a trolley to get to the next drinking hole.

    Downtown Raleigh is known as the place to go to work for some and the place to go drink to others. Not much else. I did notice that new place on South Blount that sells expensive, fancy Segways and paddle boards. Ya,
    next time I want a paddle board for the ocean I'll think downtown Raleigh. When that place folds the owner will wonder how in the world it didn't fly.

  • A person Oct 30, 2013

    If downtown is such a great place, then why do they need to constantly try and find ways to manipulate people to come down there. North Hills does not have the same problem, people go there without being manipulated to do so. They love going there

  • shortcake53 Oct 30, 2013

    You guys can fight over my parking space downtown, I will not be using it, ever. Nice try using "gift cards" to attempt to lure people down there, but Im not buying.

  • Vote for Pedro Oct 30, 2013

    i've eaten at many of the restaurants in downtown raleigh and most of them are overrated. outback is as good as 90% of them.

    You don't have a very discriminating palette. Outback, now that's funny.

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