New York is the “City that Never Sleeps.” Las Vegas is where “What Happens Here, Stays Here.” Hershey, Pa., the “Sweetest Place on Earth.”
Closer to home in Connecticut we have Cheshire, "The Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut;" Danbury, the “Hat City;” and Fairfield, the “Dogwood Capital of the World.”
Here in Ridgefield, we know that the town has plenty to offer: CHIRP, ROAR, The Holiday Stroll, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, a variety of great shops and restaurants -- there is something for everybody.
But what’s the best way to get the word out about all Ridgefield has to offer? How should the town maximize what it already has? What areas need to be strengthened to keep locals in town and attract more visitors? That’s the task the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce has taken on, and it’s not an easy one.
To that end the Chamber recently held a series of focus group meetings to solicit input on how to market Ridgefield as a “destination.” Over the course of three nights, the group sought input from local government officials, residents and business owners.
Among the questions posed to residents included:
- How would you describe to an outsider the Art And Culture in Ridgefield?
- If you have out of town guests what’s the one place you’d make sure they saw?
- How can the history of Ridgefield help attract people to our town?
- What town or towns remind you of Ridgefield?
- If you were selling Ridgefield, what would be your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
As you might imagine, Main Street was a recurring theme. The place where many residents first fell in love with Ridgefield (myself included) is an area of interest. Of course, in this era of a down economy and rising rents, it's tough to maintain the independence, diversity and vibrancy we’d all like to see.
Beyond Main Street, there are the hidden gems that might benefit from increased marketing, like Copps Hill Commons, which has quickly become a one stop-shopping destination for area “foodies.” Another prominent suggestion was the need for increased collaboration among the museums, shops and restaurants in town.
As for the unique selling proposition I like the idea – and challenge – of trying to sum up everything this town has to offer in one catch phrase. Given Ridgefield’s history of being a home to many famous writers and its diversity in attractions and events, I’m suggesting “Ridgefield: Write Your Own Story.”
So Patch readers, what are your thoughts on how to market Ridgefield as a “destination?” How would you answer the questions above? What’s your slogan for Ridgefield? If you have comments, suggestions or ideas, post them below and we’ll pass them on to the Chamber.
Bring your best ideas -- after all, we don’t want to end up like Heresford, Texas, also known as “The Town without a Toothache."