Colorado-based Trippons.com focusing on mountain resort communities
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Discount coupons are part of the American way of life, and most of us love them. But the biggest frustration is that you don’t always have the coupon with you when you need it.
That problem is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as virtual coupon systems proliferate. Thanks to the ubiquity of smart phones and other handheld electronic devices, shoppers and diners can carry virtual coupon books for almost any part of the country in their pocket — and consumers as well as businesses are increasingly dialed in to these mobile apps and websites.
Starting May 6, local businesses in Breckenridge and the rest Summit County can join the growing wave of virtual coupon promotions withTrippons.com, a Colorado-based company that has chosen the area as a pilot community. Trippons.com was developed by a group of local businesspeople that have lived and worked in Colorado resort towns. Several businesses around the state have already been testing the system for the past few months.
“If you walk down the street of any resort town, I guarantee you will see people of all ages engaged with their iPhone or Android,” said Trippons.com president Kent Myers. “Our goal is to tap into that technology to market local businesses and provide a savings for people living and visiting resort communities.”
“We knew to be successful the idea had to be simple for both the business and the consumer and we think we have accomplished that,” said Myers, a former Senior Vice President of Vail Resorts. “We don’t want to require a business give away their product like Groupon, but we want them to have a conduit into the latest technology to market their business. Trippons.com uniquely provides that opportunity.”
The whole system is simple. Businesses sign up with Trippons.com for the basic rate of $449 annually (locally, Breckenridge Chamber members can sign up for $399). On the back end, business can set up electronic coupons that can be changed daily, or even more frequently, to promote happy hour specials, for example.
On the other end, consumers simply visit the Trippons mobile website on a handheld device, where they enter the name of a town, bringing up all the coupons for that area. Then they show the screen display at the business, where a clerk can enter the coupon code number during the transaction, which helps make the system very trackable on the merchant end, according to Myers.
Merchants will also feature a window sign or some other display with the Trippons logo to remind consumers to log on to the mobile website.
Right now, Breckenridge Outfitters has a special offer for anglers — buy 10 flies, get five free, and you’ll also find a $2 off coupon for admission to the Breckenridge Recreation Center. Other local merchants include the Columbia Store, Blue Sage Spa, Valleygirl Boutique, Breckenridge Outfitters, Breckenridge Central Reservations and Beaver Run.
A couple of Crested Butte businesses have been using Trippons as part of a beta test the last few months, including the Milky Way women’s boutique.
“We have had people use them. it’s really easy to change your coupons. You can change every day if you want to,” said Milky Way owner Deb Cheesman.
Cheesman has used the Trippons coupons to offer a variety of special promotions, including off-season sales targeted to locals, and she’s planning to set up a special Mother’s Day promotion this weekend.
“You can even just do something for an hour, pop something on Facebook … it’s really simple. That’s what makes it so nice,” she said.
“This is an exciting and innovative new product for our members to be able to use. It will be a great way to promote their business specials to our guests and locals too,” said Jennifer Goldstein, membership director at the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.
The Colorado ski industry also sees potential in the realm of virtual coupons.
“The Colorado ski industry is seeing technology becoming more of an integral part of skiing, especially location based technology,” said Colorado Ski Country senior marketing manager Nicolas Barrancos. “Trippons is paving the way for resorts and businesses to use location- based technology as a means to improve the overall guest experience.”
The continuing surge in the sales and use of smart phones and other handheld devices is sure to fuel the rise in online promotions. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 83 percent of people own cell phones or Smartphones and 35 percent of people have accessed the Internet with their phones, while Nielson reports that 31 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners has a Smartphone as of December 2010. Nielsen expects Smartphone ownership to exceed 50 percent by the end of this year.
If your business is interested in becoming a member of trippons.com, contact Holly Resignolo at (970) 485-0269 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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