For the first time ever, the Lake Orion and Oxford Downtown Development Authorities are teaming up this holiday season to remind shoppers to shop local, including that other downtown just a few miles away.
The two small downtowns are less than three miles apart and are similar in their eclectic mix of small, independent retailers. DDA Executive Directors Suzanne Perreault of Lake Orion and Madonna Van Fossen of Oxford decided to work together to draw consumers from other regions of the county and entice locals to rediscover their downtowns.
“It just makes sense,” Perreault said. “Given our close proximity, there is no reason that shoppers can’t make a stop in both downtowns this season. Both communities really have a lot to offer.”
Van Fossen agreed. “This is first time that our two communities have partnered on any kind of promotion,” she said. “What’s exciting is a person can literally get a gift for everyone on their shopping list just by going downtown. And, in addition to the great shopping, there’s the dining factor. Delicious food, with great gifts, and close to home, supports local businesses; now that’s what I call downtowns done right.”
Perreault said she and Van Fossen, who know each other well, were spurred by the philosophy of Main Street Oakland County, which encourages sharing ideas.
“We wanted to do some sort of promotion to promote our region to the rest of the county,” Perreault said. “If you’re coming up this way from the rest of Oakland County, there’s no reason you can’t hit both downtowns.”
The idea has been well-received by Lake Orion merchants, she said. “I think people are excited we’re doing something new.”
Together the two DDA’s will release a series of direct mail and print pieces that will promote their message and includes a special offer. Bring the ad into any downtown retailer in either community, spend at least $50 and receive a free gift. The promotion will run through December 31. Customers must bring the coupon in order receive the gift.
“We’ll be able to measure the success of the program,” and the advertising medium, through the ads that are redeemed, Perreault said.
Tree lighting Nov. 28
Downtown Lake Orion will host its annual tree-lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. next to Orser Studio, 24 West Flint Street. Stores will be open until 8 p.m. and the event will include carolers, hot chocolate and a visit from Mrs. Claus.
Free ornament kits are available in advance so children can bring their completed ornaments and hang them on the official tree. The kits are available at Caruso Chiropractic, BCF Custom Flooring, Lucky’s Natural Foods and PNC Bank.