Red Ticket offers incentive to shop local

As people gear up for the holiday season, Coupeville merchants are giving shoppers another incentive to shop locally.

The annual Red Ticket promotion began Nov. 1 and will continue through Saturday, Dec. 17.

For every $20 spent at any of the participating 32 Coupeville businesses, customers get one ticket and a chance at winning $1,000.

The idea is to lure customers downtown and support local small businesses.

“We want to remind people that there’s value in more ways than one to shop local,” said Vickie Chambers, executive director of the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association. “We go against big-box stores and against Amazon. You’ve got to think of the impact on mom-and-pop stores.”

Coupeville was the first community on the island to start Red Ticket just shy of 10 years ago and, since then, ticket promotions have started in Oak Harbor and Langley as well.

Coupeville takes pride in being the first of the three communities to start the ticket contest to entice holiday shoppers, Chambers said.

“Every year, we’ve had more merchants participating than the year before,” Chambers said.

In 2015, 23,030 tickets were distributed which represent $460,600 in sales between the 31 participants.

“We look at this half a million dollar number and everyone says, ‘Really?’” Chambers said. “It’s really hard for me to tell how that compares to any other holiday season, but there’s really an energy about it this year.

“People are looking for it and want to support it and shop local and support that small business.”

The Island County Economic Development Council just reported that the town had a 49 percent increase in taxable retail sales for the second quarter of 2016.

Lynda Eccles, executive director for the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce, said there could be for a number of reasons for the increase, including the ongoing building project at the hospital.

Island County Tourism also reported a 27 percent increase in 2 percent lodging sales tax for Coupeville this year as of September, Eccles said.

“We’ve heard all year that Coupeville is seeing a 30-percent increase in traffic and the EDC’s numbers support that,” Chambers said. “People are shopping in Coupeville. We are full. We’ve had people waiting in line to take over businesses.

“People want to be here.”

Shoppers who earn red tickets in Coupeville are eligible for $1,300 in cash awards, including the grand prize of $1,000.

The drawing will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, on the steps of the Island County Museum.

Participants must be present to win. If not, another name will be drawn.

“We give them a beautifully-wrapped stack of $2 bills,” Chambers said of the grand prize. “It just makes it fun. We have to order them from the bank. It’s probably a 6-inch stack.

“It not only catches your eye, it makes it fun and whimsical.”

More in Business

Whidbey Coffee gets new facility, wholesale manager

One of Whidbey Island’s homegrown businesses is getting a double shot of… Continue reading

Record file — Freeland entrepreneurs Jill and Steve Rosen recently purchased Whidbey Island Ice Cream. The Rosens also own Freeland eateries Rocket Taco and Freeland Freeze.
Freeland business owners scoop up Whidbey Island Ice Cream Co.

Whidbey Island Ice Cream Co. has new owners. Steve and Jill Rosen,… Continue reading

Rosalie Gale photo
                                Foamy Wader owner Alexa Allamano works on one of her nautical-themes pieces of jewelry in her Langley storefront.
Langley jewelry store takes inspiration from the sea

Lifelong Pacific Northwest resident Alexa Allamano has always been fascinated by the… Continue reading

Organic Farm School excels in new digs

The Organic Farm School survived its first year at its new Maxwelton… Continue reading

Fight off that turkey coma with variety of weekend activities

There are several events happening this weekend, sure to revive even the… Continue reading

Whidbey Seatac Shuttle, Christian’s Towing voted Best of Whidbey

Due to production errors, categories under “Services” were inadvertently omitted from the… Continue reading

Annual awards banquet draws crowd of the ‘Best’

Annual awards banquet draws crowd of the ‘Best’ Business and community leaders… Continue reading

Best of Whidbey: A career shaped by simple childhood desire

Those that want dog-training lessons and private canine tips need look no… Continue reading

Best of Whidbey: Aesthetician in business of making clients ‘feel good’

For aesthetician Melissa York, community and relationships are a big part of… Continue reading

Online rental sites reshaping Whidbey’s lodging industry

Every September, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts officials are faced with… Continue reading

Whidbey Coffee releases bottled cold brew

Whidbey Coffee unveiled its newest enterprise this week, Beachbomber Cold Brew. “It… Continue reading

Nichols launches National Geographic Quest cruise boat

Holmes Harbor accepted Nichols Brothers Boat Builders latest contribution to the maritime… Continue reading