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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

CatCards to be functional within areas surrounding campus

%09Kyle+Wasson%2FArizona+Summer+Wildcat%0A%0A%09Gentle+Ben%26%238217%3Bs+Brewing+Co.+on+University+Boulevard+will+begin+taking+CatCards+as+a+form+of+payment+for+menu+items+besides+alcohol+beginning+at+the+start+of+the+fall+semester.+The+CatCard+payment+implementation+is+expected+to+make+up+for+the+loss+in+business+that+has+resulted+from+streetcar+construction.

Kyle Wasson/Arizona Summer Wildcat

Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co. on University Boulevard will begin taking CatCards as a form of payment for menu items besides alcohol beginning at the start of the fall semester. The CatCard payment implementation is expected to make up for the loss in business that has resulted from streetcar construction.

A new program will allow students to use their CatCards at participating vendors throughout various parts of Tucson starting in the 2012 fall semester.

A list on the university’s CatCash website shows 12 locations confirmed to implement the CatCard, ending its past restriction to on-campus vendors and extending it to University Boulevard, Fourth Avenue and North Campbell Avenue. The program is being handled through Off Campus Solutions, a third-party marketing company that specializes in university dining.

According to Amanda Percy, the meal plan and Cat Cash supervisor, the new arrangement will not only make it much more convenient for students to eat and shop off campus, it will help area businesses as well, allowing them to take other types of payment.

Some merchants at businesses near the UA said they felt optimistic about the plan.

“I’m very excited for this,” said Matt Serventi, the general manager for Fuku Sushi, located at 940 E. University Blvd. “It’ll be great for our business, because there are a lot of kids who don’t have jobs but whose parents give them money. There are tons of kids who come in and ask if they can use their CatCards.”

While the new program provides various benefits, it also comes with some restrictions. Alcohol purchases will not be permitted with CatCards, but the some vendors said they aren’t concerned about the stipulation affecting the business regularly. Richard Fifer, the general manager at Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co. on University Boulevard, said that he still expects his business to grow “dramatically” following CatCard payment implementation.

In the wake of construction for the Tucson Modern Streetcar along University Boulevard, businesses such as Fuku Sushi have struggled throughout the summer, according to Serventi. However, proprietors expect the addition of CatCards to help boost business, especially once the streetcar is complete.

“The CatCard plan will definitely make up for it,” Serventi added.

Update, Aug. 19

The following businesses have confirmed that they will implement CatCard payment, according to catcash.arizona.edu.

  • BrushFire BBQ Co.
  • BTO Self-Serve Yogurt
  • Choice Greens – Campbell
  • Choice Greens – Speedway
  • Epic Cafe
  • Espresso Art Cafe
  • Frog and Firkin
  • Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co.
  • Lindy’s Diner on 4th
  • NRG Blends
  • Paradise Bakery & Cafe
  • Sinbad’s Restaurant
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