NH Rocks: Discounted Locals Card that only NH Residents Can Purchase
Feb 13, 2020 12:01PM
● By Virginia Dean
Owner & founder Noury-Elliard
“I knew there was a need for digital tourism in New Hampshire, as so many people haven’t seen the state, but it needed to be done in a way that was sustainable, affordable, promoted a deeper sense of community, and actively allowed people to afford to participate,” said Noury-Elliard in a recent interview.
So, Noury-Elliard started designing systems aimed at helping people save money and allowing them access to information on “things to do” via the internet. He also identified his concept as an opportunity to build a system that would help him to accomplish his childhood dream of creating a community which eventually led him to enroll in Southern New Hampshire University for an MBA in Community Economic Development in order to “prove” how digital structure can be turned into a real-world one.
Essentially, NH Rocks offers a discounted Locals Card that only NH residents can purchase for $20 a year in order to use at area businesses. So far, there are over 50 companies that are participating, Noury-Elliard said, offering a variety of discounts to cardholders. Some establishments include breweries, distilleries, lodging, electric go-karts, white water rafting, paintball, indoor rock climbing, cigars, and services (eyewear and dental).
“We’re now edging in on 60 business participating, and many are committed to the program until 2022,” said Noury-Elliard. “The program works best when we have mass buy-in and residents can get discounts almost everywhere, and I’m proud that we’re trending toward that quickly.”
Having only launched the card last year, NH Rocks has been growing at a rate of almost one business a week on average, Noury-Elliard noted.
“Now that we have grown, and I have a team helping, I hope this growth figure increases so we can help more people in New Hampshire,” he said.
The growth has been mostly from Meredith to Manchester for two reasons, Noury-Elliard. explained.
“This is where I grew up and where my connections are,” he said. “I was raised in Canterbury but my parents had a diner in New Hampton, so I was traveling up there and learning the area from the age of 12 while heading south for a more stimulating social life.”
The second reason, he related, is that the I-93 growth structure has been proven to work by The Common Man chain of restaurants.
“If we can recreate this and take advantage of the heavier population toward the southern part of the state, I believe we can more quickly and safely expand to the rest,” said Noury-Elliard. “I hope to bring the structure to all of New Hampshire so we can all experience the savings and benefit of stimulating the local economy on the individual level. If anyone is interested in helping us spread this program north, please, please, please reach out. My heart is in the north, with the mountains.”
The Locals Card is the first consumer-facing produce launched by NH Rocks and was Noury-Elliard’s answer to helping people afford to participate in NH activities while bolstering its digital services to businesses by promoting increased foot traffic via exclusive and repeatable savings, he said.
Launched in February 2019, the product is exclusive to NH residents, verified against a driver’s license, and has helped people save over $100 in a few months. At $20, it’s valid for just over a year with the validity period ending on the last day of one’s purchase month the following year
“As we grow, I’m anxious to see those savings figures increase as the monies saved goes right back to the individual, allowing for increased participation, ease of living, and the opportunity to experience some social progress,” said Noury-Elliard.
On the business side, where there is a greater concentration of the program, businesses have reported seeing a two-fold increase in cardholder foot traffic and an increase in on-site cash spent by 25 to 50 percent.
Over the last year, NH Rocks has expanded the card benefits beyond just discounts. The company has begun co-hosting events with businesses participating on the higher levels and offer free or greatly reduced access to cardholders. This month, there are three events happening, including two game nights and the One Year Field Day on February 22 at which cardholders can participate for free.
Noury-Elliard graduated from Belmont High School, class of 2008. He attended UMass Lowell for Music Performance (piano)/Music Business and Theater but transferred after a year and a half and enrolled at the University of Rhode Island as an economics major, finishing his studies in December 2012.
“I learned while studying music and theater and passively during my side work as an actor and model,” said Noury-Elliard. The structure of NH Rocks itself comes from my studies of economics and my work history at municipalities and as an analyst for IBISWorld.”
Noury-Elliard’s pursuit of an MBA at Southern New Hampshire University should be finished next year.
“It takes my economic understanding to the next level and proves that this structure can move to the next phase of growth,” said Noury-Elliard. “This phase is to collaboratively develop community centers across NH to better connect the state and help offer solutions to heal some of our existing issues like opioids pathways, affordable housing and isolation.”
All businesses that participate with NH Rocks are also added to the Stay Work Play marketing and recently launched Insider’s Guides.
“Their work, which they share with me, has also become a great source of information and helps to identify avenues in which NH Rocks can help NH,” said Noury-Elliard. “For example, did you know that roughly 21 percent of young people in NH report that they have no friends? ‘The Friendless Fifth’ deeply demonstrates why I believe we need a program like NH Rocks which is so focused on connecting people via events and our future centers.”
Local Cards can be purchased online or at various NH Rocks events.
“Should anyone wish to purchase a Locals Card, they can use the discount code ‘stay or play’ to receive 10 percent off and NH Rocks will donate 10 percent to Stay Work Play to help their cause of attracting and retaining youthful people to NH which, as the second to third eldest state in the country, we need,” said Noury-Elliard.