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Discount booklets up for sale

Aaron Steiner | Monday, February 9, 2009

Students now have access to over $1,000 in savings at over 100 local businesses, including popular eateries like Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings as well as lesser-known businesses like Tom’s Restaurant and Macri’s Bakery.

Student government organized the booklet of coupons that were first put on sale last week. The books are now available for $10 at the LaFortune Box Office.

Student body vice president Grant Schmidt said the booklets were part of his and student body president Bob Reish’s campaign platform.

Value Checks, a South Bend company, produced the booklets, he said.

“We worked with them to basically figure out what restaurants and businesses would be the best,” he said, specifically looking for places “students would find most appealing.”

Schmidt said student government offers the booklets as a service to students. At the same time, they are a part of efforts to improve relations with the South Bend community, senior Ashlee Wright, chair of the Senate University Affairs committee, said.

“We need [to improve] the relationship between Notre Dame and the South Bend community and anything that gets students in the community, especially off the Grape Road venues” is helpful, she said.

They want students to “try things thy might not have already tried,” she said.

Schmidt said the booklet covers the entire Michiana area, and discounts range from free appetizers to a free sandwich with the purchase of another, among other offers.

“A lot of what we’re doing is promoting places that are smaller,” Schmidt said, focusing on businesses “you’ve never heard of.”

Typically these types of coupon booklets are sold as fundraisers, Schmidt said, but “this is not a fundraiser by any means.”

“It’s definitely a bang for the buck. It’s not a scam,” Schmidt said, noting that students are free to look through the booklet before they purchase one.

Wright said that student government contacted Value Checks at the end of the fall semester to pursue the project.

“We went over and looked through the venues,” Schmidt said, and selected more than 100 businesses.

Wright and Schmidt noted that a wide variety of businesses have coupons in the book.

“It’s not just food in there,” Wright said. “There’s Tiki Tan, Meijer, others.”

Schmidt pointed out discounts for a South Bend Silver Hawks game and the South Bend Symphony, among others.

The book was personalized for Notre Dame, and will be sold throughout the semester, Wright said.

The coupons are valid through the end of 2009, she said.

Schmidt said in the future student government would like to develop a discount card that allows students to get a set percentage discount at participating venues.