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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and UNCW want to join forces along with businesses leaders for a large community partnership that will focus on rebranding the area’s economic goals.

The proposed committee would work to show prospective businesses that the area has more to offer than just surf and sand.

“We don’t have anything that Wilmington is specifically known for other than the beaches, because of the tourism brand. That’s great, but we do have other things, and we want tourism to be a part of that, because clearly that’s a part of our economic development, but we want companies to consider wilmington, and we want them to know what we have to offer,” said Jenni Harris, UNCW’s Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Partnerships.

Both the county and city have to approve the committee’s proposal. Councilman Charlie Rivenbark says he expects a unanimous vote from the city.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest-o-matic

    Ya got whatcha got. This is the beach, this is tourist season and this is what we have. This is not an industrial manufacturing magnet. This is not the financial capital of the state. This is not a bustling business sector with coats and ties prancing around. This is not a R&D paradise loaded with scientists and inventors. This is definitely not a Charleston or a Savannah no matter how much you squint your eyes.

    We have what we have and we are what we are. I happen to love it and it’s one of the very reasons I made this my home. Be proud of what you have and leave it alone. Don’t try to make it something it isn’t and don’t take lightly the wonders we all have to enjoy!

    Now the city? YOU folk have your work cut out for you! You can “re-brand” the hell out of that! Close a few bars, clean up the puke, urine and Saffo’s hairspray cans, develop a few classic buildings, reduce the daily shootings and you’ll have a start…maybe!

  • ChefnSurf

    You hit the nail right on the head. What we have IS our brand and it’s already working. If something’s already working, find ways to tweak it better; don’t just change it. That’s like throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

    I travel up and down the east coast quite often and could have chosen other equally geographically convenient places to live but I love living here. Whenever I’m returning from a business trip, it truly feels like I’m coming “home”.

    I agree that what does need re-branding is “downtown” as well as all of the money-draining “downtown” promotional organizations and, of course, that small cadre of buffoons currently branded as the City Council and County Commissioners.

    You’re right: Don’t mess with success!

  • Guest 10101

    I guess we’ll never know what “more” might possibly be because nowhere in this article are we even given a clue.

    “Both the county and city have to approve the committee’s proposal”. Proposal to do specifically what?

    Maybe it would have been a good idea if WWAY’s ace reporter had simply asked them what it was. Duh!

  • Guest2012

    …Now that’s One Big Burrito’s Worth that makes us hometown proud!
    Also, Surf’s Up! This week-ends pre-storm “Chantel” should be awesome!!!

    Everyone knows that the concept “Re-brand”, is just a stupid new-age catch-phrase, anyway.

    Me thinks this is a new position occupied by someone who is trying to justify the position by trying to hype our City into a metropolis.

    Of course, it was simple to convince simple-minded politicians of anything.

    We are what we are, and we LIKE it that way!

  • taxpayer

    “economic powerhouse”…blah-blah-blah…”economic powerhouse”…blah-blah-blah…”task force”…blah-blah-blah…”$200,000 to study”…blah-blah-….blah.

  • Vog46

    We have a Rep from UNW – that glorious institution that refuses to cut sports because some cried “Oh boo-hoo don’t take it out on student athletes because the boosters and athletics clubs couldn’t raise enough money.” And she works for a Chancellor for Community Projects who probably makes 6 figures.
    Then we have a rep from the city. The same city that proposed a $54M baseball stadium that was not wanted, not needed, far to expensive and would have sat empty with the sale of Mandalay recently announced.
    And a rep from the county – that’s using any reason they can think of to attempt to usurp voters rights in removing Brian Berger, at all costs.
    Finally we have John Hinnant leaving WDI who used his corporate credit card to buy cigars and groceries.

    And NOW these groups are forming a new group to bring economic development here?
    OH I get it – we’ll get the following speech:
    “Today we announce that WDI and CF Visitors bureaus have been combined under a new entity called “We don’t do anything but get paid a lot of money to attract media stories that tout the Cape Fear Region”. The CEO will have a salary of $250K per year but we will save money from cost savings resulting from the synergies of all of the combined groups.
    Terry Spencer of the failed PortCityBaseball group will lead the group. John Hinnant and Connie Majeure Rhett of the local Chamber released a joint statement supporting Spencer in his new position “Terry brings a great deal of excitement and energy to the group and his Bulls__t skills are whats needed in this new endeavor. Majeure Rhett added we have surveyed the city and county and found over whelming support from our polls for this endeavor.”
    Mr Spencer then announced his first order of business – the building of the new ballpark just outside city limits, funded by taxes from city and county and new fees on UNCW students………..

    Be afraid, be very afraid of groups that form to “promote this area”


  • ChefnSurf

    The rest of us will just refer to them by their acronym of “CRAP”.

    Get rid of the CRAP around here and there’s no reason to even consider re-branding.

  • Vog46

    While I agree that we are what we are there is always a thought in the back of my mind that we shouldn’t stagnate either. Does Wilmington turn into a permanent carnival because it’s touristy? I should hope not.
    But I also agree that down town needs a total revamping of some kind. There is way too much alcohol involved in all the down town activities.
    Restaurants? gotta sell booze
    Bars – gotta sell booze
    Concert venues – gotta sell booze
    Outdoor concert series – gotta sell booze

    Now I know that bars and restaurants have to sell booze.
    But does every other activity have to include booze as well?
    Liquor licenses should be reviewed and the number of them limited.
    I’m not anti drinking by any stretch of the imagination – but Wilmington’s down town district has got too much of a “party city” reputation.



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