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It is like Jumanji without the killer ostriches. Flagstaff Local is a community-wide game thought up by the Economic Vitality Division and Discover Flagstaff tourism folks at the City of Flagstaff, and everybody wins. It involves deeds that benefit the greater good and earn players points. Flagstaff Local is similar to some video games in which the better you do, the better your health, except in this case, the better the health of the community.

Mountain Sports Flagstaff Owner Lisa Lamberson says the campaign brings awareness to the local impact of dollars and actions. “I like to believe that people continue to think about where they are spending their money and time. If it’s spent locally, it’s circulating back into our community.”

“Flagstaff Local is about you and what you love about our community,” said Economic Vitality Director Heidi Hansen. “It encourages and celebrates residents who choose to shop Flagstaff, volunteer, be eco-friendly, donate, support education, mentor and vote. By taking part in the movement and participating within these seven pillars, you are connecting what you love about Flagstaff with your everyday actions.”

Like Jumanji, as soon as you open the game, you are already in it. Go to; sign in with your first and last name, your age range, your email address and a password; and you are ready to start. Just by creating an account, you have earned a point and a Flagstaff Local – My Actions Matter sticker that can be picked up from the Flagstaff Visitor Center.

Build up your score by taking a picture of evidence that fits one of the seven categories. It can be a receipt from Humphrey’s Summit after getting your skis waxed, a photo of your family serving a meal at the Flagstaff Family Food Center, or a picture of recycling your holiday tree. When you download your photo into your account, you earn points and the program keeps your running tally.

“You might be out on the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, for example, and you pick up some trash,” said Discover Flagstaff Marketing and Media Relations Manager Lori Pappas. “That counts! Or, you might buy a latte at a local coffee house. Take a picture of the action or the receipt and download it to your account.We don’t have an election going on right now, but you could read an article about a city council meeting or topics such as wages or housing in a newspaper or a direct mailer that helps you become more informed. Document these actions and earn points. It takes seconds.”

The first 300 people to reach 30 points automatically win a ticket to the Flagstaff Hullabaloo on June 6. At the end of every week from now through the end of the game on May 31, up to two names of participants are drawn for local prizes like a free car wash, a gift basket or gift card, hotel packages and bus passes.

Locals who have amassed the identified number of points will be entered into a random drawing in June for a chance to win grand prizes: a Lotus sit-stand workstation from Quality Connections; a pair of mountain bikes from Flag Bike Revolution; or, $1,000 from Nackard Pepsi.

To qualify, participants must live within the boundaries of the Flagstaff Unified School District. Those 20 years old and younger are eligible to win rewards up to $10. Hansen says all email addresses are secured and photos will not be shared unless participants choose to post them through the website.

“Whether you’re buying gas, eating out or getting groceries, Flagstaff Local is about individuals,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if the store or restaurant is locally owned, it’s about the fact that locals are employed there, doing business in the city and dollars are being recycled in the community. Equally important, you are contributing to everyone’s overall quality of life.”

“We want to remind residents that their local purchases generate revenues that help support parks and recreation amenities like the ice rink where local youth play hockey, public safety services such as crosswalk guards at our schools and cultural activities including festivals that promote Flagstaff’s dark skies or promote music and enhance our mountain town culture and experience,” said Pappas.

Business owners support the Flagstaff Local campaign because it draws attention to the qualities that make people appreciate where they live, says Lamberson.  “That would be the ultimate goal. Anything to foster community pride and the unique sense of place is positive for our community. Whether shopping, volunteering, donating time or money and even becoming more informed about local issues. It’s just about being participatory in our community. These are all fantastic things.”

Lamberson reminds residents that when businesses flourish, they have more to give back to local non-profit organizations. “Mountain Sports prides itself on its ‘1% for the Planet’ giving program, building on Patagonia’s campaign. Because our shoppers choose us, we can contribute more to our community.”

And, by the way, that movie ticket you buy to see “Jumanji: The Next Level” at Harkins Theatres in Flagstaff, will earn you points. Even more if you get popcorn. FBN

By Bonnie Stevens, FBN

Flagstaff Local is sponsored by the City of Flagstaff in partnership with Nackard Pepsi, Flag Bike Revolution, Quality Connections and other local businesses. Flagstaff Business News is offering a 30% discount to new and downtown business FBN advertisers who include the Flagstaff Local logo in their advertisements from now through May.

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