Greater Zion helps local businesses profit from upcoming Ironman with new campaign

Ironman triathlete Heather Wurtele cycling through Snow Canyon State Park, May 7, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — As some of the finest triathletes in the world visit Southern Utah for the first time since 2019, the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office and partners are inviting the community to welcome Ironman competitors and volunteers by offering local businesses an exclusive deal.

Ironman triathletes begin the race at Sand Hollow State Park, May 5, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, St. George News

The Ironman 70.3 North American Championship returns to St. George on May 1. Greater Zion marketing manager Sara Otto said the race brings both notoriety and significant economic impacts to the area, and the new I’M Local program helps local business owners get a piece of the action. 

“We want these competitors to experience all the businesses that the area has to offer, extend their stay and explore downtown St. George and also all corners of Washington County,” Otto said. “We’re creating a welcoming, memorable and enticing athlete experience but also engaging local businesses to further stimulate the economy and take advantage of this influx of visitors.”

The concept for I’M Local was brought to Greater Zion by Ironman. Otto said they’ve built upon it by creating a website and offering multiple touch points to get the deals in front of athletes. They also opted make the offerings available to volunteers as well to further incentivize involvement. Athletes can be identified by their wristbands and volunteers by their T-shirts.

Local business owners and managers can get started by visiting the I’M Local STG website and submitting business information and the deal. Deals will be cataloged on the website, with the link and QR code distributed to athletes and volunteers across multiple platforms, including the following:

  • GreaterZion website Ironman page. 
  • Greater Zion and Greater Zion Sports social media. 
  • Ironman St. George social media. 
  • Athlete registration materials. 
  • Ironman Village information booth. 
  • Greater Zion Visitor Information Center. 
  • Volunteer check-in and materials. 
  • Best of Southern Utah website. 
  • Canyon Media and radio station websites.
  • St. George News website.

Suggested deals include the following:

  • 20% or more off an entire purchase.
  • Buy one, get one free.
  • Buy one, get one 50% off.
  • A free dessert or other offering with a meal.
  • A free item for stopping by. 

All participating businesses will have access to download and print a poster to display at their business location. Deals are valid from April 27 to May 4 unless a business chooses to specify otherwise.

I’M Local participating business poster | Image courtesy of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, St. George News

Greater Zion, along with Canyon Media, St. George News and Best of Southern Utah, are encouraging local businesses to take advantage of this free opportunity to benefit from the economic impacts of the Ironman experience. Over the past decade, Ironman has contributed nearly $100 million in direct revenues to the area. 

“Local businesses see those impacts, and this concept seeks to enhance those impacts,” Otto said.  

St. George has been a staple on the Ironman circuit since 2010, but the area’s scenery and views of the surrounding red rock canyons have made the community a choice destination for athletes for years. The area will also host the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in September, marking the return of the global competition to North America for the first time since 2013. The two races come on the heels of many cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Otto said the I’M Local program will likely be repeated in September, with greater impact and more advance notice. Although deals will not carry over, businesses can opt to participate again.

For more information on the program and to sign up, visit the I’M Local STG website

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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