Miami Beach INcard gets to 100,000 as first anniversary party draws near
By Meena Rupani
Nearing its first anniversary, the Miami Beach Incard has been distributed to over a 100,000 consumers and over 200 businesses have gotten involved.
The Incard program, launched June 15, 2009, by the Miami Beach Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tourism, offers deals and discounts to cardholders. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce administers the program.
Participating businesses belong to the chamber. There's no added cost for a business anywhere to join or benefit. The program's website features all businesses involved, from museums to restaurants to law offices, making special offers to cardholders.
Black Incards go to city residents, platinum to tourists — the chamber's target group.
At an anniversary party scheduled June 30, vendors who sign up will be displayed on a map at no cost. The map will be distributed to tourists at the region's airports and the Port of Miami pointing them to the best deals and discounts, said Jerry Libbin, chamber president.
"Miami International Airport gets approximately 90,000 walk-through traffic a day," he said. "The program is also working with the advisory board at the upcoming rental car center to have the card distributed to all the customers renting."
The party's location hasn't been set. "We are waiting to see how many vendors and participants sign up for the party. A site will be finalized by the end of next week," Mr. Libbin said.
"Recent businesses that have joined include Books & Books, Opium group, Lucky Strike, Red Steakhouse," said Valerie Rasken, Miami Beach Incard program coordinator.
A highlight for businesses joining is attending a weekly Friday "coffee with the president" of the chamber.
"This past Friday, May 28, the event was held at Epicure, which is one of the star businesses in our program," Mr. Libbin said. "Usually 30 or so members come to mingle."
The Incard program has boosted the economy and is drawing in cardholders to capitalize on deals the 200 vendors offer.
"So far, the program has increased the economy of Miami Beach by approximately 10% to 20%," Ms. Rasken said, though the exact sum the program has generated for the city hasn't been calculated. "Eventually, the program will be creating a database where we can clearly tell which demographics are using the card the most."
Mr. Libbin said he's gotten good feedback from cardholders and businesses involved.
"The Incard program is doing phenomenal," he said. "It is one of the most successful initiatives our city has."