FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chamber Launches The Carmel Card
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (November 13, 2006) –The Carmel Chamber of Commerce announces the launch of a new Carmel Gift Card.
What: Called “The Carmel Card”, it is a gift and rewards card to be used in Carmel Chamber member businesses for shopping, overnight stays, cultural activities, attractions and any of the activities of participating merchants.
Kickoff and Ribbon-cutting: A kick-off and ribbon-cutting for the Carmel Card project will be held on Wednesday, November 15 from 5-7 at the Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on San Carlos between 5th & 6th in Carmel. The event is free and open to all chamber members and non-members.
For consumers: The card will be available to be purchased on the internet at www.carmelcard.com or www.carmelcalifornia.org, the chamber’s website; at the Chamber Visitor Center on San Carlos St.; or at businesses who are participating in the program. The gift card can be loaded with any amount and be redeemed at participating merchants.
For merchants: The chamber is partnering with US Merchants, who are experts in merchant services. Dustin Moore and Bryan Curtin of US Merchant Systems, who conceived the idea and have worked very closely with chamber volunteers to develop the program, will be contacting businesses to sign them up.
The program, which will be made available to all Carmel Chamber of Commerce members, is a mag-strip type card system that can be used with most credit card processing terminals or Point of Sale systems. Merchants will be responsible for a minimal processing fee and a reward fund contribution per transaction.
Who’s participating so far: Thompson Lange, Homescapes, Carmel; Merv Sutton, Nielsen Brothers Market; and Maria Murray, Buon Giorno Bakery and Café respectively, have been instrumental in giving feedback to develop the program to best serve merchants and consumers. Also thanks to attorney Tom Nash, Carmel Plaza General Manager Tod Strain, John Haveles of the Horizon Inn, and Paula Hazdovac of Two Sisters Designs.
The rewards: The card allow the consumer to accrue rewards points while they spend, just like air miles. These points can be redeemed for local event passes, lodging or even spent like cash.
The Carmel Card will be used for marketing Carmel and US Merchants is committed to spending marketing dollars to promote the card and Carmel as a destination. Chamber of Commerce CEO Monta Potter says, “We are frequently asked in the visitor center for a gift card to be given for weddings, birthdays or any special occasions. This will be that gift card and more because the user will get reward points for using it. We’re excited to announce The Carmel Card, which may be the first of its kind for a city and or chamber of commerce that we know of.” Merchants are being signed up now and the card will be available for purchase starting on Monday, November 20.
CONTACT: Monta Potter, Chief Executive Officer