The good weather has arrived, stores and restaurants are open, and downtown is ready to welcome shoppers with open arms and a new mobile app created specifically for the downtown Olympia shopping district.
“Our historic downtown Olympia district is lucky to have such a close-knit community of shops, restaurants, and everything in between,” says Kae Stair of Compass Rose. The daily gift store has been a flagship downtown shop since 1998. “So being able to easily recommend and support our other local small businesses with the new Go Downtown app makes so much sense for Olympia.”
Olympia Downtown Alliance partnered with SnowShoe, a Pacific Northwest customer loyalty company to launch the Go Downtown app, which turns downtown visits into a fun community game that supports local businesses. SnowShoe’s free app uses game-based techniques similar to Pokemon Go™ to encourage downtown shoppers to “check-in” at retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues using their mobile phones. Check-ins earn customers points towards prizes and help to promote local businesses to all downtown visitors.
The app launches in conjunction with the kick off of the recently announced LoveOly Summer Fest 2021, presented by the City of Olympia. Weekly concerts will take place every Saturday from July 10 to August 28, and will feature artists such as The Black Tones, Low Wires and the Cavities. Oly Arts is a media sponsor for the free downtown-focused program.
Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby hopes that consumers will embrace the program. “Olympia residents and visitors alike are enthusiastic supporters of local business,” says Selby. “SnowShoe’s new program adds a fun gamification experience to buying local, and it offers us a way to thank people for coming downtown and encourage them to come again.”
The Go Downtown app, weekly concerts and other public events are all part of Olympia Downtown Alliance’s Why I Go Downtown initiative, aiming to bring people back downtown, build community and support local businesses. The Alliance and SnowShoe are funding the app launch as a pilot program and are providing it to local businesses at no cost.
Local support is strong — Olympia personalities such as Amy Shephard, Brian Tyrrell, Andrea Weston-Smart and Miguel Pineda have recorded videos in support of the program (videos available here). SnowShoe is led by long-time Olympian Ned Hayes (Oly Arts founder), who says he funded this program because he believes in the future of downtown Olympia.
Dean Jones, owner of Encore Chocolates and Teas, heartily endorses the program. “The Go Downtown program is a great new way to discover the unique appeal of Downtown Olympia,” says Jones. “There is so much to do and see here — this is an excellent community builder.”
The free Go Downtown app is available now at go-oly.com for mobile web, iOS and Android. Shoppers can download the app now and “check-in” at participating businesses. Nearly 50 downtown Olympia businesses have already signed on to participate in the program, and more are expected to join during the summer.
More information: SnowShoe Olympia information
Who: The Olympia Downtown Alliance and SnowShoe
What: Go Downtown app at Go-Oly.com
When: Launches in summer beginning in July, 2021 (program continues for 2 years)
Where: Download the free Go Downtown app at Go-Oly.com for mobile web, iOS and Android.