Chimney Rock Village, Lake Lure marketing towns together

In unprecedented move
Apr. 12, 2013 @ 06:31 AM

The neighboring towns of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock took an unprecedented move in participating in a marketing and branding study.

The Lake Lure Town Council formally adopted the study, presented by Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Tuesday night and Chimney Rock Village Council will adopt it at the next meeting.

The mayors, town clerks and town boards of the two tourist towns are in agreement with the study. Among partners for the study are Chimney Rock State Park, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Rutherford County Tourism. 

"This has been quite an undertaking,"said Lake Lure Mayor Bob Keith. "It really has gotten the communities together through a number of meetings. . .There has been cooperation, collaboration, disagreement and resolution. We have developed a closer partnership, we have knocked down the walls and we're delighted with the plan."

Chimney Rock Village Mayor Barbara Meliski said, "This was a great opportunity for Chimney Rock and Lake Lure to work together. It was a wonderful experience and everyone in both towns had the opportunity to express their opinions. We are looking forward to implementing what we have learned."

Keith said he doesn't want to lose the momentum and meetings will begin soon to devise an annual plan to start working on particular projects. 

He said everyone involved has received the plans and will have time to study it and make suggestions and present ideas as time moves along.

Each of the towns have adopted their own individual new marketing logo and there is a logo featuring the combined towns — Lofty and Deep — signifying their partnership.

In the 45-page marketing study is an implementation strategy and action plan for 2013, 2013-14 and 2015-20.

Among immediate recommendations are the towns adopt the brand identity system; launch the LoftyandDeep.com webpage; continue to work with the county on expanding broadband access; develop a Living in Lake Lure marketing piece; create a temporary gallery space; remove excess signs in both communities and partners with the Tourism Development Authority on countywide signs.

The study also suggests the Town of Lake Lure form a development association;initiate the HeART of Hospitality initiative; present the plan to county commissioners,the TDA and Economic Development Commissioners and other partnerships

According to Arnett Muldrow,"this project has shown that both communities have a reinvigorated partnership with each other.

This level of cooperation presents a tremendous opportunity to market a complete message for both communities. The changes with Chimney Rock State Park reinforce the need for both communities to cooperatively work to improve, refine, and co-market the area as one of Western North Carolina’s most unique destinations."

The brand identity system was adopted by the Town of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village to serve several purposes:

° To reinforce the positive attributes of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village;

° To connect the two communities with a unified message that resonates with the local resident, visitor, and future resident while preserving the identity of each community;

° To create a “toolbox” for both communities to use to better tell their stories.

The study also says,"the implementation strategy for this project will involve several entities, not just the two municipalities of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village. It is anticipated that a reinvigorated Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber will tackle the economic development and broader implementation strategies of the brand that focuses on the visitor, developer and new resident."