November 16, 10:26 AM, Cheyenne Headlines Examiner, William Robinson
City looks to the future for "Green" projects.
“You’ve got to keep (Green River) the government center of the county,” said Bob Springmeyer, another Blue Canopy representative. “You must keep the courthouse to restore and regenerate the downtown.”
GREEN RIVER, WY — A $79,900 “work in progress” study done by Blue
Canopy Consulting and presented to the Green River City Council Tuesday
evening made numerous socioeconomic recommendations, among which was
that the name of the city needs to be taken better advantage of in
order to attract visitors and new businesses.
A team of Blue Canopy representatives addressed the Council at its workshop session, led by Brett Palmer of BWP Communications. The consulting study was titled “Marketing, Branding and Design Action Plan” and was prepared for the city of Green River.
Among the recommendations is a proposal to brand the downtown historic district as “Expedition Plaza,” with its own logo, signage and Web site that builds upon the John Wesley Powell expeditions. A key point of Palmer’s presentation was that the “Green River Brand” in advertising and marketing needs to be created, emphasizing the terms “Green” and “River.” Palmer said this type of community branding would be “alternative to Rock Springs.”
The report states, in part, “The aspect of Green lends itself to health and recreation. ... It means small-town values. ... This is a forward-thinking brand with tremendous appeal. ... Green stands for environmentally conscious — it means they are a ‘Green’ community. ...” The study stresses the need to promote the other aspect of the community’s name. “We must capitalize on the river,” the report states. “It is the elephant in the room and a part of the city’s name. It is a powerful differentiator. ... It represents what the community is proud of as well as its heritage and history. ...”
The report termed the new branding recommendation “deceptively simple.” References to Rock Springs are sprinkled periodically in the study, relating to either comparisons or economic rivalry.
Under the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats analysis portion of the report there is a comment stating, “Most residents like Green River’s friendly, small-town atmosphere. It feels very different from Rock Springs and other parts of western Wyoming. It is many people’s first choice for where they want to live.”
Rock Springs also took a hit in the section of the Blue Canopy study
dealing with education. “Green River schools generally have higher
math, reading and writing scores than Rock Springs.”
The focus of the study was not to compare Rock Springs with Green River, however. Instead, the Blue Canopy report was designed to offer suggestions to enable downtown Green River to better market itself as a destination point for tourists and other visitors, as well as residents. The aim is to ensure more shopping is done in Green River, more money is spent in Green River, more pride is taken in Green River’s location and history, with the result that Green River will not be seen as simply a place to refuel and then drive onward. The starting point of the branding strategy, councilmen were told, is for Green River to hold onto what it already has.
“You’ve got to keep (Green River) the government center of the county,” said Bob Springmeyer, another Blue Canopy representative. “You must keep the courthouse to restore and regenerate the downtown.” The entire study is 124 pages.
City planner John Dahlgren broke the nearly $80,000 price tag down as follows: $45,000 from the city of Green River; $25,000 from the Wyoming Business Council; $12,500 from the Wyoming Main Street organization and $10,000 from the Sweetwater Travel & Tourism Board. Blue Canopy is headquartered in Reston, Va., with offices primarily in the Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va. areas.