Chances are you have heard of the Moab Area Travel Council’s “Do It Like A Local” campaign, launched last year with the aim “to help visitors get the most out of their trip: and to “gently educate Moab visitors on proper behavior, etiquette and stewardship of the environment while they’re here,” according to the Do It Like a Local webpage.

With tourism on pause in Moab due to efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Travel Council has put a halt to advertising and educating visitors, and shifted to promoting local businesses in a new campaign called “Spend It Like A Local.”

The “Spend It Like A Local” site will feature products, services, and gift cards from local businesses – ways that local businesses can generate revenue during this phase of the pandemic.

The Travel Council will be promoting this site on its Discover Moab website (www.discovermoab.com), which is visited by over 3 million people annually, as well as its “Do It Like a Local” page (www.doitlikeamoablocal.com) and on its Facebook page and other local social media pages.

Travel Council Director Elaine Gizler said the idea for Spend It Like A Local was hatched by Moab resident Rob Walker as part of the Grand County COVID Economic Resilience Task Force’s efforts to “reach out and help our local business community.” The Economic Resilience Task Force is made up of local organizations involved in economic development including the Chamber of Commerce and the Travel Council, as well as other individuals, Gizler said.

Businesses are encouraged to think outside the box on what they can offer.

“A discounted gift card is a solid place to start,” reads a statement in a recent Chamber of Commerce email about the initiative, “but creative ideas are encouraged!”

“We want to help our community to survive this difficult situation,” Gizler said, adding that the hope is for the site to launch in the next week.

Walker said there are already about a dozen businesses interested in participating and he expects more will join in.

Walker gave a few examples of companies and the special offerings they will be promoting: Solgear, a manufacturer of rafting gear, will be offering 19% off; Wild Bloom Fermentations will be offering 20% off kombucha on Tuesdays; and Bighorn Mountain Biking will be offering $20 a day mountain bike rentals.

“While I haven't been able to get a hold of (Moab bakery and bistro) Sweet Cravings yet, I just saw that they are now selling some bulk groceries and take-and-bake meals,” Walker said. “So far, that’s one of the most creative business model changes I’ve seen in town.”

Businesses who wish to participate, have questions, or would like to request a consultation regarding participation in the Spend It Like A Local campaign should contact Rob Walker at rswalker@gmail.com.

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