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Survey floats new names for north Main Avenue

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Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017 6:44 PM
The city and Business Improvement District plan to promote north Main Avenue in the new year.

Chicago has a North Side and a South Side. New York City has its five boroughs. Now Durango wants in on the action.

The city wants residents to help brand the busy Main Avenue corridor north of 14th Street.

A recently launched city survey asks residents to vote on Uptown, Animas City and – what most residents already use to refer to it – North Main.

The city is gathering feedback ahead of a marketing campaign focused on the corridor.

“We really want the community to have ownership in this identity and this brand,” said Colleen O’Brien, the city’s business development and redevelopment coordinator.

After the survey is complete, the city plans to work with a Fort Lewis College class on ideas to market the area in the coming year. Once a name is selected and the class finishes their work, the Business Improvement District plans to spend $5,000 on implementing the ideas and promoting the new name, said Tim Walsworth, executive director of the BID.

The city suggested North Main, Uptown and Animas City, based on earlier outreach that the BID did during the public meetings on how the neighborhood should develop.

“I personally think all the names are great,” O’Brien said.

Some respondents floated NoMa as an abbreviation for north Main. Similar suggestions in this vein include NoMaDo for north Main Durango and NoDu for north Durango.

Keeping the widely used north Main as the moniker for the area wouldn’t require an educational campaign, like the others might, Walsworth said.

Another consideration is whether the name is fresh and implies the area is growing, he said.

“I think there’s pros and cons to each of the names we are suggesting,” he said.

While the $5,000 set aside for marketing is relatively small, it is the first time the BID has had a dedicated line item for marketing the area. The BID’s total marketing and communications budget is $45,000.

It’s possible the BID would do a traditional marketing campaign with social media, print and radio ads. It could also include some beautification similar to the flower barrels downtown.

While flowers may not be practical, there are brackets on the light poles where new banners could be hung, Walsworth said.

Choosing the assets of the district to promote, such as the eclectic business and proximity to trails, could be part of the work of the FLC class, O’Brien said.

The city hasn’t settled on what exactly the class will work on, but it could work on taglines or logos, O’Brien said.

The survey closes Jan. 8 and can be found at www.durangogov.org/VirtualCityHall.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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