March 1, 2021
Greater Augusta Regional Tourism (GART), the regional tourism organization for Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro is launching the SAW Savings Pass, a new program that aims to support local businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
The passport is a free program that both visitors and locals can sign up for, connecting them directly to special offers and discounts at over 30 local businesses currently included in the passport, with more to be added.
GART applied for and received a GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery grant in the summer of 2020 in order to support small businesses reopening after the initial shutdown due to the global health crisis. As part of the grant, GART is launching the SAW Savings Pass, a website, as well as a video series aimed at encouraging visitors to return to the SAW region.
The SAW Savings pass, created by Bandwango, is designed to engage both visitors and residents alike, and help drive economic activity in one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic, travel and hospitality. Partnering with GART and working alongside local businesses, Bandwango created a digital experience to connect visitors and locals to the best the SAW region has to offer.
Users access the passport’s dedicated landing page where they sign up for the SAW Savings Pass by providing their name, e-mail address, and mobile phone number. A link is then sent to their mobile phone, which opens the passport and directs the user to add the button icon to their home screen, where they can access it any time. There are no downloads or apps required. Once the user is ready to redeem their pass, they simply have their coupon scanned at a participating business to access the savings.
Though the pass has launched, restaurants, shops, and attractions wishing to be a part of the pass can email Jennifer Callison (firstname.lastname@example.org) about being added.
“We are thrilled to be putting a portion of GART’s grant funding to use with the launch of the SAW Savings Pass, which will drive traffic to our remarkable and perseverant small businesses,” says Jennifer Callison, Tourism & Marketing Manager for the City of Waynesboro.
While the pass launched on Monday, February 22, 2021, a larger marketing campaign will officially kick off in late March to promote the digital passport along with the Explore SAW website. Follow along with @ExploreSAW on Facebook and Instagram.