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Ways to say “I love you” locally 

A 2023 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics revealed that 52% of consumers planned to celebrate the romantic holiday in 2024, and each person would likely spend an average of $192.80 on gifts and dates for their loved ones. The survey concluded that consumers would spend $25.9 billion to show their love on Valentine’s Day — making this the second-highest spending year on record. 

Even with V-Day spending trending up, only 17% of love-struck shoppers spend their dollars at small and local businesses for the occasion, according to Capital One Shopping.   

The NFH contacted local restaurant and retail advertisers to ask about their Valentine’s Day specials, expectations for business on Feb. 14 and why their place is the best for dates and gifts! No matter one’s style, there’s a way to spread the love this holiday while also loving on local businesses. 

For the traditional couple

The “dinner date” is a classic for a reason. Soaking in the familiar ambience of a favorite restaurant with a hot date or a significant other, along with the aroma of “delish” food is enough to make anyone salivate. 

Kick the spice up a notch this Valentine’s Day with a meal at Falcon’s local Mexican spots, La Mission or Guadalajara. 

Both restaurants expect to be busier than usual Feb. 14, so plan to arrive early and possibly wait to be seated. 

Michael Lucero, the owner of La Mission, said, “Valentine’s Day is one of our busiest holidays. It’s almost like our little mini Cinco De Mayo.”  

Lucero also said he has noticed an uptick in patrons on the day before and the day after Valentine’s Day in years past, which he assumes is a result of people trying to avoid the crowds on the actual holiday. 

Guadalajara is offering a special of chicken, shrimp, pork and steak fajitas; included are two drinks, a flavored margarita or a piña colada, one dessert of fried ice cream or flan — all for $59.99

Another way to escape the hustle and bustle of Valentine’s evening is to swap the dinner date for a brunch date. 

Mountain View Cafe and Catering in Black Forest will be open on Valentine’s Day, from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with breakfast served all day. Call ahead or make a reservation to avoid a possible wait.  

Early birds (or the early “lovebirds”) will receive two complimentary pancakes with the purchase of any two entrees all day.   

The co-owner of Mountain View Cafe and Catering, Spring Gould, said, “We feel the environment we have here is one that everyone would enjoy for Valentine’s Day. We have such a diverse clientele — we’ve seen younger couples enjoy, couples that have been married 50 plus years and even families.” 

For the homebodies

If getting out on the town isn’t your cup of tea, celebrating in the comfort of home might be. 

Get dressed to the nines and transform your dining room into a five-star private dining experience; go the cuddly route and hop into your jammies, pop some corn, and laugh together to a cheesy rom-com; or turn up the fun factor with game-night and all of the guilty-pleasure snacks. The options are endless.

If the home décor could use a Cupid’s touch-up during this season of love, Sew So Sweet Quilt Shop in Peyton has it covered. 

“I have a table runner that would be perfect for the middle of any Valentine’s table,” said Terri Lundy, the owner of Sew So Sweet Quilt Shop. The runner comes in a kit, which customers then take home to make themselves. 

Enjoy a romantically festive table setting during a candle-lit home-cooked meal, or join the 25% of Valentine’s Day diners who plan to order takeout or delivery, according to a Restaurant Dive article. 

To wind down a chill night in, cozy up on the couch with a couple of piping hot cups of specialty Valentine’s-blend tea from Honey Tea and Me in Black Forest. 

“It’s a chocolate raspberry tea,” said Shawndel Sievert, owner of Honey Tea and Me. “Starting the month of February while supplies last, people can buy it here and drink it by the cup or they can purchase a tin and take it home.”  

For the singles 

Going solo this Valentine’s Day? Singles can still partake in the festivities and enjoy the gift of self-love.  

Get spoiled with some well-deserved self-care for the holiday.

Lavender & Thyme, a skin care clinic in Black Forest, is offering a discounted chocolate facial during the entire month of February. The facial uses a chocolate ingredient mask and each client will indulge in chocolate-covered strawberries and their choice of sparkling cider or kombucha to top off the luxurious experience. Single people only! No couples allowed.  

Marissa Searle, Lavender & Thyme owner, said this facial is perfect for anyone who is looking to relax and pamper themselves this Valentine’s Day season. 

Searle is also hosting a spa night Feb. 8, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., which is the perfect event to treat your “galentines” to this year! 

“We’ll have a setup where people can do a self-led facial, massage chairs with a massage therapist and a food truck with s’mores and chocolate-covered strawberries,” Searle said.  

Feb. 14 is all about love so show some love to your community retailers by celebrating locally.

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