Be on the lookout for treasures, because they’re all around us.
The West End Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) is holding its second "Search for Gems" contest from March 3 to April 18. The inaugural West End treasure hunt in 2012 required participants to actively seek out clues in the area, but this time around, there is a social media component.
This year, "Search for Gems" is a seven-week long contest in which people all over the city, not just the West End, are given a clue through Instagram and Twitter every Monday. There is a prize every week, so people have seven chances to win prizes.
In order to qualify for the contest, participants must follow the West End BIZ on Twitter (@WpgWestEndGal) or Instagram (@westendbiz). Once the clue has been given, contestants will give their answers by replying to the tweet or posting on the Instagram photo, as well as providing a photo of themselves with the correct clue. The first person to guess the answer correctly wins the prize for that week.
The correct answer to the clue, the winner, and the prize will be announced every Friday during the contest.
All seven weekly winners will be entered into a final draw to win a grand prize of $1,000.
When the West End BIZ spoke to The Metro, the contest had already been underway, and there was already a winner for the first week.
"The location was actually the Minto Armouries on St. Matthews," marketing and communications co-ordinator Melissa Suggitt said. "A lot of people aren’t aware the reserves and rifles are there, so that was something we wanted to bring people to. And the building is pretty nice itself."
Suggitt posted an extreme close-up photo of the bricks of the building with a clue — and someone guessed it right away. But Suggitt warns participants that with each passing week, the clues will get harder.
"From now on, I won’t be posting words with each picture," Suggitt said with a laugh.
West End BIZ executive director Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner said the contest was originally introduced two years ago to get people acquainted — and reacquainted — with the West End.
"The takeaway goal is for people to realize what wonderful businesses we have in the area," Cardwell-Hoeppner said. "As people look for the clues, they’re also exploring the area. Whoever was going to the Minto Armouries has to pass by a lot of other places in the West End. We want people to get out and explore the West End and see what we’re all about."