On Tuesday, April 16, the Kanab Area Chamber will be hosting it’s first “Spring Fling” for those who work in the hotels, gift shops, restaurants and retail stores that assist tourists. We would like everyone on the front lines to know what our local businesses can do to help visitors.

A party at the new Day’s Inn (formally Shilo Inn) at 7 p.m. will have food and lots of giveaways. It’s a big thank you for referring tourists to local businesses with only one entrance fee… a multi-stamped Kanab Area passport.

The Chamber will be giving away the passports the first week of April. Each person participating needs to visit at least 75% of the listed businesses, take a short tour, get a small thank you gift and a stamp on the passport.

During the party, we’ll put the passports in a container and draw for prizes from the businesses and dine on food donated by the restaurants. A kick off to the tourist season, a get to know you party, a fun way to start, we hope the “Spring Fling” will become an annual event. Big thanks to Stampin’ Up for donating the custom made stamps, Matt Brown for tweaking the logo for the stamp, and Craig Baird from Xpressweb for being the chamber’s unpaid IT guy.

We are working with the tourism board to replace the current tourist info racks in hotels with those from the county, and we want to put them in as many businesses as we can. Instead of having tourism information encouraging trips to San Diego, we’ll have only local info. Several businesses who’ve never had a rack card are getting them prepared, and for a mere $100 a year per business, the chamber will keep the racks stocked. Another way to reach visitors and a chamber fundraiser, a win win! We need to work from every angle and together to keep more tourist dollars in the area.

The next meeting is on April 16 at noon at the Day’s Inn (formerly the Shilo Inn.) We will have four things on the agenda:

1) We need two thirds of the current paid members to show up in person to change the bylaws which will then allow for email voting. I will re-email everyone the proposed bylaws.

2) Each member gets a minute or two to tell about themselves and anything special about their business.

3) Other business and,

4) We hope a few people stick around after the meeting and help us set up for the “Spring Fling.”

The Shop Local program will be coming everyone’s way. We’ll have our billboard up, 8,000 bag stuffers, large and small custom posters, bumper stickers, window stickers, newspaper ads, and more! We’re not suggesting we shop only in Kanab, but we are asking people to shift spending by at least 10% or more.

As a business group, we need to find a way to change the perception that Kanab is more expensive than the big box stores. Recently, a nice lady told me she had a list of 20 things she needed. She shopped the prices in Kanab and then went to one of the big boxes. She said 15 of them were cheaper in Kanab. Just saying… A big thanks to all the locals who Shop Local First! The business owners and their employees thank you for making the Kanab area a great place to live and work!