By Conrad Dudderar
With a shop-local focus, Yukon Yuletide Express “kept the cheer here” as customers visited more than 60 merchants.
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas shopping campaign ran from Nov. 25 through Dec. 21, 2022. The goal was to keep people shopping with Yukon Chamber members while promoting Yukon.
“This was the best Yukon Yuletide Express program we’ve ever done,” Yukon Chamber CEO Pam Shelton said. “A lot of people were really impressed with how well it went.
“We were able to get people to try new places that they’ve never been to. It really ‘opened their eyes’ to move around town.”
During the 2022 Yukon Yuletide Express, 43 Yukon-area businesses gave 435 gift cards that Santa’s elves handed out to happy customers.
“Most gave 10, $25 gift cards,” Shelton noted.
Yukon Chamber ambassadors and staff helped present the gift cards at participating retailers.
Santa Claus (Homer Mason) made surprise appearances during the four-week effort as he helped customers “Keep the Cheer Here” by presenting special gift card packages around town.
“People still believe in Santa in Yukon,” Shelton said.
Featured were “Home for the Holidays”, “Espresso Yourself”, “Ladies Day Out,” and “Dude’s Day Out” gift card packages.
Woodward’s Dennis and Deb Ruttman came to Yukon in mid-December to view the city’s epic Christmas lights tour.
While eating at Schlotzskys, they received a gift card to Main Street Marketplace thanks to Yukon Yuletide Express.
“We enjoy shopping in Yukon and the friendly, semi-small-town atmosphere just adds to the experience,” Dennis Ruttman said. “Great job to the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.”
Twenty-one “service” businesses offered discounts by sponsoring spots on Yukon Yuletide Express posters featuring a QR code that shoppers scanned.
“We had 57 people registered to win a drawing, then we gave away $500 in gift cards,” Shelton added.
In past years, shoppers had to keep track of red tickets they received at participating businesses during Yukon Yuletide Express to be eligible for prize drawings.
“Every merchant I’ve talked to liked how we did it this time,” Shelton shared. “They didn’t have the hassle of the red tickets.”
Some 38,000 people were reached and 3,769 of them “engaged” in 51 Yukon Yuletide Express posts through the Yukon Chamber’s Facebook page, she noted.
WRIGHT LEADS CHAMBER
The Yukon Chamber of Commerce finished 2022 with 564 members.
Jarrid Wright, of Metro Sign, is president of the Yukon Chamber’s Board of Directors for 2023. Past president is Jay Emory, of BancFirst.
New Yukon Chamber board members are Spence Laird and Angelique Morton. Lynn North is serving a second term.