The new Downtown Tracy app, which launched March 27, provides a listing of every business in the TCCA district, which covers the heart of downtown along Central Avenue and 10th and Sixth streets.
The app, available for iOS and Android mobile devices, lists dining, shopping, service and culture business, along with landmark buildings in the area.
Kim Scarlata, a member of the executive board of TCCA and the chairwoman of the group’s District Identity Committee, said the app is a new effort to market downtown and cash in on the rise in social media and prevalence of mobile devices.
“In the old days, people printed out maps for directions,” Scarlata said. “Now you get out your phone to look for directions and where to eat.”
She said the group reviewed apps from cities including Lodi and Pleasanton to get an idea what to provide for Tracy.
Go Local Apps of Sacramento was selected to design the program, which cost TCCA $2,400 — the association is funded by a special tax paid by property owners in the district.
About 150 hours were spent by TCCA members researching and getting a photo of every business to be included in the app.
Listings include the address, phone number and online links for a website, Facebook or Instagram page. Merchants are also able to advertise special promotions via the program.
“It is the most cost-effective way to get our message out to residents and visitors about what we have to offer in downtown,” Scarlata said.
Scarlata said the response has so far been positive.
At Ria Mia Beads, 33 W. 10th St., owner Maria Teague had seen the cards promoting the new app.
“I think it’s great. I do a lot of advertising online and on Facebook,” Teague said. “I’m sure the app will help business.”
Teague said she sees a lot of shoppers from the Bay Area and thinks they will be helped the most.
“I have a lot of out-of-town business, and I’m always giving directions to people for restaurants,” she said. “I think it will be helpful for people not familiar with the area —even some people from Tracy may not be familiar with the downtown area.”
Local wineries and hotels are also featured, Scarlata said, with the idea that if people were visiting wineries they could look at the app and find a place to have lunch, shop or stay the night.
The app also includes events in downtown, including block parties, the Tracy Dry Bean Festival and other special events.
Elaine Pombo, co owner of Elaines’ Boutique at 31 E. Sixth St., has already placed a copy of the card promoting the Tracy Downtown app on the shop’s Facebook page.
“I think it’s wonderful that someone can go online and, with the touch of a finger, get info on every shop, restaurant, store and business in downtown,” Pombo said. “We do a ton of Facebook advertising — it stirs up a lot of business.”
The Downtown Tracy mobile application can be downloaded at the Apple and Android stores by searching “Downtown Tracy” or by visiting the Tracy City Center Association website at http://tracycitycenter.com/ and using a smartphone to scan the app’s QR code.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.