BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  There’s a major push by Baltimore businesses to get you to spend your Christmas dollars downtown.  Derek Valcourt reports retailers are rolling out the deals to lure shoppers away from the suburbs.

Businesses want shoppers to think outside of the box and outside of the big box stores.

When shopper Elsa Clausen puts the perfect gift under her tree, chances are she bought it downtown.

“Target–90% of the people you know are all going to have the same set of dishes or whatever and there’s a uniqueness here that kind of adds a specialness that you’re giving someone,” Clausen said.

A new campaign by the Downtown Partnership aims to lure more shoppers like Clausen into the city to spend money in local restaurants and retail shops.  For example, Harbor East’s South Moon Under, where they’re trying to entice shoppers with more than just bargains.

“And we’re offering free parking for customers to kinda get them into the city and into the neighborhood,” said Erin Alessi, South Moon Under.

Any purchase from a Harbor East retailer will get you free parking in one of the four area garages.

Another way they’re trying to lure people downtown is with “Dollar Or Less” days.  This weekend, dozens of the city’s most popular museums and attractions, including the Science Center and the Aquarium, are offering admission for only a dollar or even free.  They’re hoping when you’re done, you might want to stroll into a few local stores.

“And we’ve added more and more shops and retailers to the downtown area and people sometimes don’t realize that so they should come here.  You don’t often have to go to the suburbs to get great deals,” said Kirby Fowler.

At the Inner Harbor’s Fire and Ice, deep discounts have helped their holiday season to a good start but they’re hoping more people will bring home a gift from the city.

“Everything here is special.  Everything here is unique,” said Maly Heral.

For more information on the holiday events, attractions and discounts downtown businesses are offering, click here.


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