Student perks

Pocket Points app rewards students for unplugging on campus with discounts at local businesses

The change is happening. Can you feel it? It started a week or so ago—restaurants were a little busier, the streets filled with a few more cars. By the time this hits stands, we’ll be in the thick of the new school year.

In other words, it’s starting to feel like Chico again. So, welcome, students! Among the perks of being young in this town, you’ll find that many local businesses offer discounts just for, you know, being you. With a flash of your student ID, you’ll be handed free sodas with meals as well as other deals. I was grabbing lunch at Pita Pit the other day and noticed a sign at the register for a student discount app, one I (somehow) hadn’t heard of before, called Pocket Points.

Pocket Points was launched two years ago by two Chico State grads, Rob Richardson and Mitch Gardner. And it’s kind of genius because it serves two purposes, both of which can further your college career. 1. It offers rewards, in the form of points, for locking your phone while in class, and 2. Those points are redeemable at local restaurants and retail stores for free or free-er stuff, aka “gifts.”

I was blown away by the number of businesses that participate. Kudos to Richardson and Gardner for getting so many on board—and for expanding to campuses across the country. See, students, your hard work can pay off!

Locally, the Pocket Points app is available to Chico State and Butte College students. Here are just a few of the perks; download the app for a full rundown:

• 5 points will let you extend happy hour at Unwined at 980

• 10 points will get you a free round of mini golf at FunLand/Cal Skate Chico, 20 percent off your order at Kona’s or a free Ultra PRO deck box at Chico Magic

• 20 points can be redeemed for half off a U-lock at Campus Bicycles or BOGO half off on women’s clothing at Anika Burke

• 50 points will get you half off your froyo at Jon & Bon’s or a free month of level 1 tanning at The Electric Lounge

My personal favorite gifts listed are at La Cocina Economica, which, among some genuinely cool rewards, offers a Monopoly-esque “jump to the front of the line” bonus for 25 points and a free hug for just 10 points (“Official hugs may last from 3-5 seconds and may be substituted by a hi-five at our discretion”).

M’Oroville The historic Oroville Inn is making some real progress. Photos on its Facebook page show the residential wing is looking fresh and clean, a far cry from this reporter’s prerenovation visit last summer. Developer Bud Tracy emailed me last week to report that a new Northwest Lineman College sign was just put up, serving as an official welcome to that school’s students, who will become the inn’s first tenants in a decade. Furniture is set to arrive in October and 120 students will move in around Thanksgiving, he says. Get ready, downtown Oroville!