Villa Park Announces New Ad Campaign Aimed at Attracting Elmhurst Spending Dollars


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

VILLA PARK – Capitalizing on the prestige of being ranked #28 for “Best Places to Live in the United States” by Money Magazine last month and eager to exploit a declining interest to “shop local” by their neighbors to the east, the Village Board of Villa Park approved a $50,000 budget last week for a new ad campaign titled “Villa Park is Money!” aimed in part at luring Elmhurst residents and their prolific spending habits across Route 83.

“We want to show Elmhurst that Villa Park has more to offer than Walmart and head shops,” said Village President Al Bulthuis, who rejected “Say ‘Yes’ to Villa Park” and “Park Your Ass in Villa Park” from the Economic Development Committee before selecting the new slogan that will be included in print and social media ads and on billboards near each portal separating the two towns. “If (Elmhurst residents) aren’t happy with their own options for local goods and services, then why not entice them to spend their money here in Villa Park?”

Acknowledging that radio advertising in out-of-state markets like St. Louis, Des Moines and Indianapolis has failed to garner a measurable number of visitors over the last few years, Bulthuis admitted that previous attempts to promote Villa Park as a destination spot by highlighting local businesses like The Dollar Tree and Brer Rabbitt Motel was “probably” a mistake.

“Not many people are going to travel more than 200 miles or so to visit Villa Park,” continued Bulthuis, who stated that the new ad campaign will instead feature local businesses that sell what Elmhurst residents are known to squander their money on. “They have a well-known love for food and alcohol, and we have plenty of options for them to choose from.”

One of the local businesses scheduled to be included on billboards is Mike’s Meat Market at 32 S. Villa Ave., a family-owned butcher shop praised for the quality of their gourmet meats, poultry, and fish. Long-time cashier Lindsay Weber said that targeting Elmhurst residents to increase business is a great idea, despite the distraction created by those who already shop there.

“We don’t get too many people from Elmhurst, but the ones who do shop here stand out like a sore thumb,” said Weber, who noted that people who ask numerous questions about the origin of products, display highly-visible defensive mannerisms, or have a look of disorientation if spoken to by another customer are usually from Elmhurst. “They have cash to burn though, so I’m pretty sure we’ll see more of them once Mike’s Meat Market is featured in the ads.”

In response to the new ad campaign, the City of Elmhurst has approved a 2% duty on all imports from Villa Park and will authorize border patrol agents along Route 83 to search vehicles and to document foreign purchases brought into the city.

Other Villa Park News Stories:

Comparison Study: Elmhurst Farmers Market vs. Villa Park French Market

Villa Park Head Shops ‘Fired Up’ for Black Friday Deals

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Villa Park Head Shops ‘Fired Up’ for Black Friday Deals


by Dave Noble, Local Business News 
VILLA PARK – Carefully reorganizing a spotless glass shelf full of ceramic marijuana smoking instruments depicting movie characters and famous people like Darth Vader, Bob Marley and “Chronic Man”, reefer paraphernalia and tobacco store owner Stacy Reynolds told a group of clearly distracted reporters perusing the “Bowls and Pipes” section of Discount Smoke Zone on Sunday that Villa Park’s head shops are gearing up for Black Friday by advertising deep discounts and early shopping hours the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season.

“Walmart, Target and the 5-Star Swap Mart won’t be the only local shopping destinations packed with customers on Friday,” said Reynolds, who last year rented a 25-foot inflatable bong (A smoke filtration device also known as a “water pipe”, a “billy”, a “bing” or a “moof” made of clay, ceramic, plastic tubing, PVC or a host of other materials that is used for smoking cannabis) on Black Friday and placed it in front of her store’s St. Charles Road location, which resulted in a new one-day sales record.

“We were sold out of every pot-smoking device and candy bar by noon,” boasted Reynolds, who opened at 6:00 a.m. and advertised cannabis-crushing devices known as “grinders” for $3.99 and hydroponic equipment for the cultivation of marijuana starting at $49.99. “We had over 100 people standing outside the door for hours before we opened.”

A few hundred feet west of Discount Smoke Zone, No Limit Smoke owner Amit Sidana plans to open at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night to get an edge over his nearby competitor for Black Friday sales.

“I feel guilty for making our staff work on Thanksgiving,” said Sidana, who is selling 18” Weed Star beaker bongs featuring a reinforced fixed downstem with drum diffuser for only $137.00 (while supplies last), which is less than half of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. “But there’s a lot of competition around here for pot-smoking customers, so we all have to make some personal sacrifices for business purposes.” 

Further south, Roosevelt Tobacco is promoting the big shopping day as “Fried Friday” by giving away a free pack of Hempire single wide rolling papers to its first 300 customers. Assistant manager Mike Tenace is counting on his store’s plethora of cannabis culture-related items to separate Roosevelt Tobacco from the competition.

“We have weed magazines, psychedelic art, blacklight-responsive posters and a lot of other cool stuff,” said Tenace, who noted that the Taco Bell located next door will also draw pot-smokers into his store for the Black Friday sale, which includes a “Marijuana Advent Calendar” with 25 windows that each reveal a picture and the name of a highly potent marijuana strain. “Peronsally, my favorite days in the calendar are Sour Diesel, White Widow, and Blackberry Kush.”

While the competition between Villa Park’s head shops continues to increase each year, everyone agrees that the unique customer demographic makes Black Friday shopping for weed paraphernalia a lot less hectic than what customers experience at national retailers and “big box” stores.

“I’ve found that the customers on Black Friday are really patient and somewhat lethargic,” noted Reynolds. “Their paranoia can be a little hard to deal with, but at least I’m not breaking up any fights over the last one-hitter on the shelf.”