Burlington promotional slogan returns

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(Host) The Burlington region has been rechristened The West Coast of New England.

A new tourism marketing initiative that was launched today hopes to capitalize on the sparkling waters of Lake Champlain.

So VPR’s Ross Sneyd visited downtown Burlington to get some reaction.

(Sneyd) Some people think the folks at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce might need a course in geography.

Jennifer Saxer is one of them.

(Saxer) "Well, being from San Francisco, I would say that sounds a little ridiculous. Where’s the coast? And where’s the West?"

(Sneyd) Gerry Slager of Bristol, who leads bicycle tours in the area, has a different idea.

(Slager) "Come to Burlington. It’s a big city that’s a small town. That’s what I like because that’s what the feel of it is."

(Sneyd) But that’s not quite what the Chamber of Commerce wants to convey.

Chamber Vice President Tim Shea says the goal is to take advantage of Vermont’s established image and carve out a niche for the Burlington area.

(Shea) "One of the challenges we have sometimes in marketing Burlington is conveying that urban appeal that the Burlington region has to offer when compared to the strong Vermont brand. So the logo has the image of buildings, mountains and lake and Burlington, Vermont. Because Vermont is an extremely important part of our message, as is the urban appeal that Burlington has."

(Sneyd) Claude Hardy has been visiting the area from Montreal. He likes the image of the slogan: Burlington, Vermont, the West Coast of New England.

(Hardy) "Yeah, yeah, yeah, reminds me of B.C. and Vancouver. Vancouver is a lovely place. The West Coast is very nice and automatically it sort of brings something very modern at the same time, artistic, design a little bit on the side. Yeah, I like that. It’s well thought out."

(Sneyd) The slogan sounds familiar to George Commo, who’s dropped by the Burlington Boathouse at midday.

(Commo) "Wasn’t that the old slogan? Yeah. I think that’s great. I think that’s exactly what it is. I think it’s perfect. I think it’s absolutely perfect. I loved it when they had it before. I don’t know why they had to spend all that money they spent to come up with the same slogan that they used 15 years ago. But what the heck, it’s a great slogan."

(Sneyd) The Chamber of Commerce says the slogan has worked before, so it ought to work again. It’ll be showing up in marketing campaigns this winter.

For VPR News, I’m Ross Sneyd.

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