Downtown mints its own currency

By REBECCA MARSTON/Montana State News

Downtown Bozeman has created Downtown Dollars, which are gift cards that can be spent exclusively at downtown businesses, as a new incentive to bring more revenue to local businesses and restaurants.

The idea behind Downtown Dollars, according to the Downtown Bozeman Association, is to increase business in shops and restaurants downtown and stimulate the local economy. Downtown Dollars work just like a gift card and are accepted at most downtown businesses.

The association also said that as a way to support green living. “Choosing to do business downtown reduces unnecessary automobile use, habitat loss from sprawl and pollution.”  

Recently, the winners of the Mardi Gras scavenger hunt took home a gift basket that includes of $100 worth of Downtown Dollars to help promote the currency.

The event, also put on by the Downtown Bozeman Association, is in its second year. During the week long scavenger hunt, participants stop into various downtown retailers to get a stamp, and collect beads, masks and coins.

Every year, over $35,000 is converted to Downtown Dollars, which may be purchased along Main Street at First Security Bank, the Downtown Visitors Center or the Downtown Bozeman Partnership office.

– Edited by Kaylee M. Walden

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