A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kona Ice to help customers ‘chill out’ on tax day with free shaved ice at locations in NKY and Cincinnati

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Kona Ice wants to help its customers chill out on tax day through its “No Taxation without relaxation,” promotion.

Kona Chill out day

The Florence-based company will be offering free shaved ice at various locations in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati on Monday, April 18.

Tony Lamb, founder and CEO of Kona Ice, said the annual promotion has become extremely popular with customers, and franchisees throughout the country will participate.

“We’ve done it for a couple of years and it has grown wildly on us,” Lamb said. “Everyone is participating in some way and we’ve got 150 franchisees that have signed up to do big events. On tax day they are all going to go out and give free Kona’s in their territory.”

The Kona Ice truck will stop for about 15 minutes at each Northern Kentucky location, with longer visits scheduled for the two Cincinnati locations.

“No taxation without relaxation” stops in the Northern Kentucky area include:

• Close The Loop 2053 Meridian Place in Hebron
• The Florence Rotary Club meeting at  the Airport Hilton in Florence
• Sims Furniture 7791 Dixie Highway in Florence
• Heritage Bank 1818 Florence Pike in Burlington

Cincinnati stops:

• Fountain Square 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Fiducial Financial Center 1000 Kings Automat Drive noon – 2p.m.

Kona chill out sillyLamb says the promotion will provide exposure to the growing corporate customer base for Kona Ice, but it’s really more of a goodwill gesture.

“In most markets, it’s the beginning of our season and for most people tax day is usually not the happiest time for them,” Lamb said. “We try to bring a little sunshine on an otherwise dreary day.”

Tax returns for the previous year are usually required to be filed by April 15.

Emancipation Day, which is April 16, however, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and it falls on Saturday this year. As a result, it will be celebrated on Friday this year and the tax deadline has been moved to the following Monday.

Unlike a lot of people Lamb said he doesn’t mind paying taxes. He has turned his daughter’s bad experience with an ice cream-truck vendor into one of the most successful franchises in the country and is grateful he lives in a country that provided that opportunity for him.

“I love paying taxes because I couldn’t have done this in another country,” Lamb said. “We’ve got great roads and great schools and so many good things happen because we pay taxes. If I have a gripe, I guess I want it to be fair because if I could save a little tax money, I could put up a bigger building and employ more people, because that’s what it’s all about.”

Lamb was a little concerned about the recent cold snap, but it looks as if temperatures will be in the 70s Monday, so it will be up to Kona Ice to provide the chill.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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