'Vintage' label said to be wrong for Cedaredge

By Hank Lohmeyer

An open community discussion may begin soon as some Chamber of Commerce board members think town hall's chosen marketing identity label for Cedaredge -- Vintage -- is the wrong one for promoting business and commerce.

The Vintage label emerged from a "Branding Summit" held last summer.

Chamber criticism of the "Vintage" label was aired at the chamber board meeting on Jan 3. Singled out for particular criticism is a town hall sponsored idea for holding an "Old Fart Dart" 1k race event in conjunction with the Celebrate Cedaredge street fair.

Some, but not all of the chamber board members, were critical of the "Old Fart Dart" idea saying it plays into the image of Cedaredge that businesses are trying to shed -- the image of a retirement community offering little that is energetic, exciting or new.

The "Old Fart Dart," as described at the meeting, is a 1,000-meter race for fun. Participants dress up in costume and traverse the course using any means of conveyance they choose so long as it is not motorized.

The "Old Fart Dart" idea, combined with the Vintage branding and the community's reputation for retirement living, create an identity for the community that fails to attract a younger demographic with money to spend, according to comments made during the open discussion at the chamber meeting.

Attending the meeting was Cedaredge Town Administrator Katie Sickles, who said the "Old Fart Dart" event is one used by younger demographic college communities.

Also adding a more positive note, Main Street businessman and chamber director David Starr noted that the community needs to focus across a spectrum of young and older people to have a positive impact on commerce. What is needed, he explained, is to project a different image of the community's demographics that will help with commercial marketing.

Several at the meeting questioned the appropriateness of the "Vintage" branding label for businesses who are trying to attract a younger demographic.

The project to come up with a "branding label" for Cedaredge was conducted by town hall last summer. The initiative to pick a brand for the community was part of a larger overall push to promote tourism in Delta County. Creating specific brand labels for other communities and areas of the county was part of the overall idea.

The Cedaredge brand of "Vintage" was decided on at a meeting held at the Civic Center last summer. There, a group of about 15 people attended a "Branding Summit" session. Those who showed up for the meeting included some from town government, business, and interested citizens. Attendees with ties to the Chamber of Commerce were at the meeting as well, but they were not officially representing the Chamber that evening. The Vintage label was suggested for Cedaredge's brand and voted on by those present.

The "Branding Summit" had been arranged by Town of Cedaredge and so results of the ad hoc vote were taken as official.

At the Chamber board meeting, Hovde called for a committee to discuss the issue. However, she told the DCI later that the full Chamber board had met together later and decided to approach the town trustees directly with a presentation at their next meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 19.