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Explore More Cookeville App Launching April 1

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Explore More Cookeville App Launching April 1

Cookeville and Putnam County will launch the new “Explore More Cookeville” app April, 1, aimed at enticing tourists to patronize local businesses.

Tourism Director Shan Stout said the app allows people to check in when they visit one of 60 participating local businesses, as well as parks and hiking trails. She said people earn points by checking in and can redeem those at the Cookeville Visitors Bureau for free prizes.

“This was a very great, incentivized opportunity for visitors and locals alike to be able to visit places that maybe they would not normally go to during their regular routine or during their vacation,” Stout said. “And so, we just really don’t see a downside here.”

Stout said the local business owners in Putnam County understand the symbiotic relationship they all share within the structure of the local economy. She said with such a rich pool of small businesses, and the incentives available for visiting them, the hope is why would visitors stop at one?

“When you have a vibrant economy and all of these wonderful things to do, it helps your business,” Stout said. “If you were the only business on the West Side, you would suffer. You need everyone to be there because that gives more to do in your area. It just helps everyone. It just raises everyone together.”

Stout said Cityscape Executive Director Ferran Kefauver was approached by app developers who proposed the idea, and she immediately pitched the concept of partnering with the Visitors Bureau. Stout said with the Visitors Bureau located on the West Side around many other local businesses, they understand the challenges of that kind of work.

“If a visitor comes to town and, say, they’re only intending to visit Cream City,” Stout said. “And they’re going to get an ice cream cone and have a selfie in front of Cream City, and then that’s all they intended to do on the West Side, but if they have this app, they go, ‘You know what? If I just go to four more places, I can get a water bottle.’”

She said other prizes will include decals, t-shirts, and more. She said recent data shows that, for the first time in years, tourism has surpassed agriculture as the city’s top economic driver. She said with tourism providing such a jolt to the local economy, supporting it is more important than ever.


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