PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen
The perfect Downtown Fargo gift idea is making its way across the community, thanks to the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP). Gift cards that can be used at local downtown stores are now available. Read on to learn more about this exciting project.
Where it all began
“The idea for a Downtown Fargo gift card had been discussed in our office for multiple years,” said Kalley Norr, the DCP’s Development Coordinator. “We all love the idea because it’s a fun way to promote Downtown and to encourage people to visit local businesses.”
The previous event coordinator, Nicolette Berge, began to research possible gift card programs in the spring of 2017 and spoke with many other downtowns across the Midwest to see if they had a program.
“We narrowed it down to three different programs, surveyed our local businesses to see if there was interest and presented the information at our monthly member meetings in the summer,” Norr said. “We received great feedback from the local businesses and moved forward with a program from EML Payments that ensured 100 percent of earning would be kept Downtown.”
The DCP is a nonprofit, so they took the information gathered to organizations and businesses to partner with the program and help with the start-up costs. “We were fortunate enough to have amazing support from our sponsors of the card,” Norr said. Sponsors include Great Northern Bicycle Co., Bell State Bank, Kilbourne Group and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (F-M CVB).
“We were very excited when we heard the DCP was going to be getting the Downtown Fargo gift cards,” said Danni Riley, Visitor Center Manager with the F-M CVB. “We knew we wanted to find a way to collaborate with them.”
With the DCP trying to find places to sell the gift cards, the F-M CVB came up as an option because of the extended hours and the location for people who may not live downtown. “We also thought it would be a good way to draw in some of the locals who may not have a reason to stop by the Visitor Center,” Riley said. “They can become more aware of what we do.”
The gift card program was launched on Dec. 15, “just in time for the crazy holiday rush,” Riley said.
“We are thrilled with it so far,” Norr said. “We’ve seen an incredible amount of support from local businesses and from the community. It was a great option for gift giving in the holiday season and it’s been exciting to see that the gift cards are being used throughout Downtown Fargo.”
Norr added that they’ve also seen many repeat customers after the holiday season who want to continue to give the card to their friends, family and coworkers for other occasions.
In addition to the F-M CVB and the DCP, gift cards can now be purchased on the website dowtownfargo.com. “We thought it would be a great idea for people to have the ability to order the cards and have them shipped to them or loved ones,“ Norr said. The DCP is also looking into having other locations sell the card to be more accessible to customers.
“This wasn’t just a holiday promotion,” Riley said. “The cards are available all year long and never expire — perfect for upcoming holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.”
The year-round program has more than 55 businesses of all varieties participating and ready to accept the gift card. Norr said, “It truly is a great gift for those who want to experience Downtown Fargo.”
Gift card locations
Drekker Brewing Company
Erberts and Gerbert’s
Fargo Brewing Company
Fowlers Heritage Company
Front Street Taproom
Great Northern Bicycle Co.
Hot Dog! Pet Salon
Mint + Basil
Moxie JavaThe Nail Bar
Nichole’s Fine Pastry
Northern Home Furniture & Design
Onyx and Pearl
Pinch and Pour
Pink Luxe Boutique
Prairie Roots Food Co-op
Proof Artisan Distillers
Puzzled Escape Rooms
Radisson Hotel Fargo
Sandy’s Donuts & Coffee Shop
SJ Hair Studio
Smiling Moose Deli
Stumbeano’s Coffee Bar
Swanson Health Products
The Toasted Frog
Wurst Bier Hall
Zest – Radisson