Night Out’ cater to
local holiday buyers
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Ketchum and Sun Valley merchants twice
this month will welcome shoppers late into the evening hours to encourage
holiday-related spending at local stores.
Rob Santa, owner of Sturtevant’s in
Ketchum, helps Ryan Stokes, 4, of Hailey, with a junior lease purchase as
his mother, Kristie Stokes Smith, looks on. Express photo by Willy Cook
In conjunction with a plan by the
Ketchum-Sun Valley Chamber & Visitors Bureau, approximately 50 merchants will
stay open until 8 p.m. on two consecutive Friday evenings, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.
The events are called "Shoppers’ Night Out."
Most retail stores in Ketchum typically
close at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., leaving few opportunities for holiday shopping during
the dinner hours.
During the two evenings, carolers will
stroll through downtown Ketchum while many stores offer shoppers an array of hot
beverages, treats and special discounts.
"It’s kind of a ‘Gallery Walk’ plus," said
Ramona Duke, membership services manager for the chamber. "We want to draw
attention to all the wonderful shops and stores we have here, because we
certainly don’t want to lose them."
The events are part of an ongoing effort
by the Chamber to encourage local residents to shop at stores in Ketchum and Sun
Valley, instead of traveling to distant shopping centers or making purchases via
This year, the chamber will continue a
pre-existing program that sells "Chamber Choice Gift Certificates," which can be
redeemed at any of more than 100 area businesses. The convenient gifts will be
made available for sale in three denominations--$10, $25 and $50.
Ketchum city officials have eagerly
decided to promote the chamber program.
Pursuant to an initiative by City
Councilman Maurice Charlat, the city immediately prior to the Dec. 12 event will
illuminate holiday lighting on Broadway Bridge, the arched, wooden structure
that crosses the Big Wood River near the intersection of Warm Springs and Saddle
At 5:30 p.m., Mayor Ed Simon will give a
brief speech before turning on the lights. Coffee and hot chocolate will be
In addition, city officials will be on
hand to collect from local residents various non-perishable food items, which
will be distributed later this month to other Blaine County residents in need of
Charlat said he hopes the city event
becomes an annual program to beautify Ketchum and "satisfy a need" in the Wood
River Valley community. "I think it will be the beginning of something very
good," he said.