If the city of High Point seems to be a lot more colorful, or more specifically, the color purple, rest assured your vision is in tact. High Point University’s purple umbrellas have been increasing in number across High Point, dotting local restaurants, shops and other businesses.
All a part of the HPU Passport Program, the umbrellas symbolize the connection between university students and local businesses, and a growing partnership that serves both the city and HPU’s student body.
The Passport Program began with less than 10 partners in 2006. Today, HPU says the number has increased to 60 restaurants and retail shops throughout High Point.
The program itself is simple: Students, faculty and staff pay participating partners by swiping their HPU identification card (the “Passport” card). HPU makes it even easier for students to visit these businesses by providing shuttles to and from many of them three days a week. The partnership doesn’t stop there; HPU often invites the businesses onto campus as well to promote their products and services.
HPU leaders say the program is truly a win-win situation. Students get the products and services they want and local shops get the business they want, providing an ongoing boost to the local economy.
“The passport program is beneficial to our students by extending our campus into the community,” says Jessica Kelly, campus concierge at HPU. “All of the passport partners truly love HPU. They have posters of our students on the walls, and they also have HPU umbrellas that help spread the energetic spirit of HPU across the community. We are excited to see the program continue to grow so rapidly in only the last five years.”
Doug Beamer, owner of Beamer Tire & Auto Repair on East Parris Avenue says this type of program is exactly what he was looking for when he first opened his shop. Beamer says because the university is a large part of High Point, finding a a contact there was important.
“Two years ago, when I first opened up, I wanted to get involved with High Point University to let both faculty and students know that we were here when they needed any type of auto repair work done. Today, (the business) is growing some. More people are coming (from HPU) than last year. Everybody has been satisfied with our work. I think the Passport Program has helped,” says Beamer.
Kelly says the current list of Passport Partners includes a wide selection of products and services ranging from gas stations to salons and spas. And, of course, a few local favorites are included on the list.
“Being a participant in HPU’s Passport Program has brought huge success to our restaurant,” said Kostas Bakoulas, owner Kozzy’s Grille in High Point. “It has given us the opportunity to build a relationship and welcome HPU students, faculty and staff to our business and our community. They are a major part of our business here.”
New additions to the Passport Partners Program this year include: Agave Mexican Restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, Emerywood Fine Foods, Feeney’s, Frozen Yogurt Bar, Golden B Restaurant, Hair Solutions, Just Priceless, McClarty Drug Company, Reflections Hair Salon, Rome Pizza, Shear Kolors Hair Salon, The Claddagh Restaurant and Wright Choices.
Other Passport partners include: 9 Round, AAMCO, Avanti Salon & Spa, Barberitos, Beamer Tire, Ben and Jerry’s, Black Tie Transportation, CVS, Carolina’s Diner, Carter Brothers, Char-Grill, Chevalrie Salon & Spa, Chili’s, Chipotle, Ci-Ci’s Pizza, Coldstone Creamery, Crescent Ford, Doctors Express, Domino’s Pizza, Evolution Fight Academy, East Coast Wings, Firehouse Subs, Gianno’s, Ham’s Restaurant, Hang Ups, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Just Priceless, Kozzy’s Grille, Liberty Steakhouse, Lubrano’s, McAlister’s Deli, Meg’s Gifts, Moe’s Southwest Grille, Nabils Alterations, Omega Sports, Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Paradise Tan, Peppermill Café, Reflections Hair Salon, Sheetz, Simon Jewelers, Sonic, Southern Chic Salon, Sumela Restaurant, Thai Herb, The Tan Line, Village Café Express, and O’So Tavern.
Local businesses interested in becoming a passport partner should contact Jessica Kelly, campus concierge at email@example.com 336-841-4636.
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