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Cedaredge searches for brand to replace 'vintage'

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer The town has long prided itself on its proximity to and association with the Grand Mesa, as noted in one of its greeting signs. An effort to establish "vintage" as a new marketing brand met with resistance and work continues to find

The vintage has gone sour.

Complaints from Chamber of Commerce board members about Cedaredge town government's "vintage" branding label have led to the term being dropped as a community lifestyle and business marketing image.

According to a staff report delivered to the town board on Feb. 16, "The Branding Committee met with Chamber of Commerce representatives on Jan. 24 and 31. There has been tremendous collaboration between the two groups and we will continue working together on the project. The term 'vintage' has been removed, but the sentiment remains. Currently, the group plans to use "Gateway to the Grand Mesa."

The idea for the term "vintage" to be used as a brand image for Cedaredge came about last summer at a branding summit meeting. The initiative was part of a larger effort to brand areas of the county with distinctive labels as a means of marketing to tourists.

Cedaredge has long used the marketing identity "Gateway to Grand Mesa." There are two handsome, engraved stone monuments erected at either approach to the town along Highway 65 that proclaim "Cedaredge -- Gateway to Grand Mesa."

During last summer's branding summit a handout taken from a tourism expert's web page advised against using "gateway to" in a community's marketing.

There is currently an effort under way to revitalize the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway Association. The Byway Association was an active group that accomplished a lot of promotion, marketing and interpretative signage work along the byway which stretches along Highway 65 from Pioneer Town to the unincorporated town of Mesa, and includes a spur route to the Raber Cow Camp site and Land's End Observatory on Grand Mesa. The Byway Association joined in its work with other funding partners including CDOT and the State Historical Society.

The 1990s and early 2000s were a time of ample federal funding for the byway program nationwide. Since then federal dollars have dwindled and the local Byway Association fell into inactivity. There is sentiment that a revitalized Byway Association would want to focus on programs with direct benefit to businesses located along the route.

A byway marketing plan was completed in 2011 but never had adequate funding for implementation. It lists the three following priorities:

1. Increase visitation and visitor expenditures for existing businesses along the Grand Mesa National Scenic & Historic Byway.

2. Promote the Byway to the communities along or near the route as a means for economic development.

3. Coordinate tourism promotional efforts with partnership agencies and the capacity of the resources along the Byway.

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