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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of December 3 - 9, 2003

Features

Two ‘Shoppers’
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 the Internet.

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 roads.

At 5:30 p.m., Mayor Ed Simon will give a brief speech before turning on the lights. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served.

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 food.

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.

 

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.