Archive for Thursday, July 5, 2007

Residents slow to take on treasure hunt

July 5, 2007

The race is off to a slow start for the Main Street Treasure Hunt.

With more than two weeks since the beginning of the scavenger hunt-like event, some participating businesses are seeing fewer people than expected.

The idea for the treasure hunt was to offer Lansing residents an extra incentive to brave construction along Main Street and visit businesses. Participants could download a list of 28 questions from the city's Web site and visit the corresponding businesses to get the answers for the chance to win prizes.

So far the chilly reception has a few businesses worried while others remain optimistic.

Shawna Shivers, customer service representative of Citizens National Bank, 601 N. Main St., has yet to have a customer ask for an answer to one of the treasure hunt's questions. She said she was a little shocked that was the case but wondered if construction starting in front of the business had anything to do with it.

Rhonda Jackson, owner of Oasis Pools, Inc., 105 W. Gilman Road, said her business also has yet to have a treasure hunt participant come in. However, she said the hunt was a "great idea" and that it was too early to tell if it would be a success or not. She said she expected to have more participants come in during the weekends when more people were off work.

To help with the slow turnout, Ken Miller, the city's Main Street project liaison, said he wanted to print out copies of the questions and rules and place them in the businesses. He said after talking to a few business owners, he hoped that making the questions more accessible would get more people would join in.

Miller said he was surprised there hadn't been more participants and said he wasn't sure if it was the rainy weather or just too early to tell. The hope is more publicity will spark some interest so, he said, the event could do its job, which is to help businesses attract customers.

At Dollar General, 401 N. Main St., manager Kathy Barrymore said she's had a couple of adults and a few children come in wanting to participate. She said she was glad she'd agreed to participate in the event because anything to get people through the door could help.

Dawn Steinbach, manager of Wood Oil Co. Store, 109 4-H Rd., also has seen participants stop by for the businesses assigned answer. Of those people, she said they've all looked around the store and many ended up purchasing merchandise.

Despite her stores success so far, she said she thought putting the questions and rules inside each business would get the hunt rolling faster.

For now, Miller said he'd do what he could to get the word out but he won't be able to tell how successful the event was until after 5 p.m. July 31, when all completed answer forms are to be turned in.

For those still wishing to participate, visit the Lansing Web site at www.lansing.ks.us to download a set of questions or pick them up at City Hall, 800 First Terrace.

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