A creative stimulus package

Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal News ServiceCarson Valley Golf Course owner Tom Brooks with some $2 bills.

Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal News ServiceCarson Valley Golf Course owner Tom Brooks with some $2 bills.

The idea is simple. Pass on good fortune to your neighbor, or, as Tom Brooks says, spread around the points of light.

Brooks is the owner of the Carson Valley Golf Course. In an economy where local businesses are hurting, his business has been faring rather well.

"With the economy being what it is, we're actually doing pretty well," he said. "People in the Valley are still coming in to play."

But Brooks, who bought the business from his parents eight years ago, wants to give some of his success back to the community. That's why he started a pay-it-forward promotion.

Until the end of April, anyone who pays a normal green fee to play golf will be handed back a $2 bill and told to spend it in the community.

The idea came from a conversation Brooks had with friends. He said they were discussing the course of the economy when someone mentioned a news story they'd seen about a Midwestern man who flooded his community with $2 bills.

"We thought it was a great idea, and thought how to make it fit with what we're doing," Brooks said.

Brooks said the rarity of the bills makes them easier to spot in the marketplace.

"I saw one in Raley's the other day," he said. "People will come back here and use them to buy something. We're actually giving them back as change."

As the bills continue to circulate and stimulate the local economy, Brooks hopes that they become symbols of solidarity.

"It's such a simple concept," he said. "It's positive for everyone. I'm tired of all the gloom and doom. I want to grab a few points of light and spread them around."

After paying his green fee, California resident Garth Miller looked happily puzzled when handed back a $2 bill.

"I'm all about supporting the local economy," he later said. "I've always been really impressed with the Valley and I'd love to see it prosper."

Assistant golf professional Nels Ahnlund has been working at the course for two years. He said he's been receiving a lot of feedback about the promotion.

"Especially from people not from here," he said. "They say, 'I want to live in a place where this happens.'"


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