4th Avenue is Offering a Shopping Card for the Streetcar Construction Season

April 26, 2012

By Teya Vitu

Shopping is as easy as ever on 4th Avenue – and now you can check it out for yourself with a new 4 for 4th shopping card that will add up to a $4 discount.

The idea is to spend at least $4 at four shops, collect a sticker at each shop, and then turn in the card with four stickers at a participating merchang and get a gift or $4 discount on your next purchase. Then you can start your next shopping card.

35 businesses are participating so far and more are expected to join in.

Kurt Tallis hears the rumblings from the metroplex about streetcar construction and road closures Downtown and on 4th Avenue. From where he sits at his 4th Avenue Merchants Association office, he wonders what all the fuss is about.

“You can drive on the Avenue from the underpass to 6th Street,” said Tallis, FAMA’s marketing/events director. “The only thing you can’t do is drive or park on the Avenue between 6th Street and University Boulevard.”

About the stretch between 6th and University: 4th Avenue is a pedestrian street, always has been, always will be, Tallis chants, and for now it’s exclusively pedestrian. No big deal, he insists.

Since April 20, a pedestrian crossover has been in place so people can cross the construction zone from Sky Bar to Martin’s Comida. A second pedestrian crossover is planned for the 6th-to-University stretch.

Tallis knows mere words can land on deaf ears. So he dreamed up the 4 for 4th shopping as an incentive for Tucsonans to venture down to 4th Avenue and shop and dine away.

“Simply go into a participating merchant, spend a minimum of $4 and you get a shopping card,” Tallis said. “Once you’ve spent at least $4 at four different locations, take that card to a participating merchant and yet get either a gift or a $4 discount,” Tallis said. “And you will be eligible for a monthly $40 shopping spree.”

This is the first time FAMA has offered a shopping card.

“It’s rewarding our customers for rewarding us with their business. Hang with us during construction,” Tallis said.

If going to a store and getting a shopping card sounds too 20th century quaint, you can also download and print a shopping card here and FAMA will even give you the first sticker if you download a card.

Tallis also wants to tap the wallets of the captive audience: the 300 streetcar construction workers and the 150 construction workers on The District student housing complex. The Construction Worker card so far has 14 participating merchants, most of them offering a 10 percent discount.

“What a great source,” Tallis said. “They are right in our backyard. These people are here every day.”

The Association is working with ParkWise to encourage 4th Avenue visitors to park in the year-old Centro Garage east of the Rialto Theatre and right at the 4th Avenue Underpass.

“We’ve been working with ParkWise,” Tallis said. “We can train people to park there. The fallacy is there is no place to park. The fact is there are over 15,000 places to park Downtown and on 4th Avenue. The easiest place to park is the Centro Garage and numerous private parking lots available on the Avenue.”