Butte Bucks were a success but towns not ready to print any more right now

$25,000 in Bucks remain unspent

The summer Butte Bucks promotion has been a resounding success. According to Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce events director Scott Still, the $50,000 in Butte Bucks sold out quickly and more than half the money has already been redeemed. It’s been such a success that the Chamber wants to print more.



Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.  
An extension of the program would have relied on the two towns pitching in an extra  $2,000, to come up with $10,000 in Butte Bucks.  The extra promotion was contingent on both towns making a contribution.
On Monday, July 6 The Crested Butte Town Council decided not to donate any more money to the promotion at the current time.  Therefore, on July 7, the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council did not officially consider the request.  Both councils, however, were pleased with the promotion and heard good things from constituents.  
Under the original summer Butte Bucks program, the town of Crested Butte ponied up $7,500 and the town of Mt. Crested Butte came up with $2,500. That $10,000 allowed people to buy $50,000 in Butte Bucks for just $40,000. People would go into the Chamber of Commerce, hand over $80 and get $100 in Butte Bucks. Those bucks could be spent at any of the 49 participating businesses and essentially provided a 20 percent discount. Participating businesses included retail stores, service industries, and restaurants.
On Monday, Crested Butte Mayor Alan Bernholtz said it was “interesting that half have been redeemed before the July Fourth holiday. That means it helped in the shoulder season and that was the purpose,” he said. “It’s a great program.”
Crested Butte council member Skip Berkshire said he had heard redemption was a little slow for participating businesses. “I think it was a great job and they looked cool,” he said. “But I heard it took a while for businesses to turn in the bucks and get their money.”
Still said that wasn’t the case at all. Any participating business can redeem the Butte Bucks anytime during the promotion and get their money within two or three days, if not sooner.
Still provided some statistics on the program and said that 93 percent of the participating businesses were located in Crested Butte. He said in rough numbers, 86 percent of the people who bought the bucks had an 81224, or Crested Butte, zip code. Six percent were from Mt. Crested Butte and 6 percent were visitors.
Still asked the Crested Butte Town Council if they would consider funding another $1,500 along with $500 from Mt. Crested Butte to get another $10,000 in Butte Bucks circulating. “The stimulus aspect seems to have worked and we are looking to see if you’d want to help with a second printing,” he asked the council Monday evening.
The council said that was possible but more likely at the end of the summer or in the fall.
“We’d need to talk about it and find the money. But we don’t need it right now when the summer is booming,” said Bernholtz. “Maybe near the end of the current program would be a better fit.”  The council agreed and requested Still to come back later in the summer.  
During Tuesday’s Mt. Crested Butte council meeting, Still was not present and there was some confusion about whether the council of Crested Butte had voted on the matter.  The council then found that the Town Council of Crested Butte did not approve additional funds for Butte Bucks.  
Councilmember Dave Clayton said Still wasn’t going to make a request for funds to the town of Mt. Crested Butte if the town of Crested Butte was not participating in the additional program.  
Councilmember Andrew Gitin said he heard great things about the Butte Bucks promotion from visitors and second homeowners, and he was also seeing Butte Bucks used at the Gas Café, of which he is part owner.     
The remaining summer Butte Bucks are still valid through Labor Day Weekend.

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