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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

News

Does Ketchum need more festive look?

Council says probably not


By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer

A proposal to line Ketchumís two main streets with colorful banners intended to fortify the townís resort image was turned away by city leaders this week.

Ketchum City Council members Monday, May 3, unanimously declined to support a plan put forth by the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau that sought approval for a series of permanent banners in the cityís downtown core.

"I think this is something that will add to the vibrancy of downtown," said Chamber Executive Director Carol Waller, who presented the plan.

Council members disagreed.

"I donít see any charm in this at all," said Councilwoman Christina Potters. "Itís nothing. Itís dead."

The proposal made by Waller included plans to print and install on city light posts 30 banners displaying antique-looking color images of people recreating in the mountains. The images are linked to an advertising campaign launched by the Chamber in 2003 that promotes Ketchum as a classic resort town that offers both history and modernity.

Waller asked City Council members to allocate approximately $6,000 to launch the project.

The proposal called for installing the two-sided, vinyl banners along Main Street between River and Sixth streets and along Sun Valley Road from Main Street to Spruce Street.

Waller developed the proposal with an ad-hoc group of Ketchum retailers.

"The retailers are excited about this potential to liven up the town," she said.

Mayor Ed Simon, who meets monthly with the retailersí group, said the city could pay for the project with funds in the Streets Department budget.

Council President Randy Hall said he believes the banners would not appeal to city residents or tourists.

"I still think people come here because of the fresh air, the clean water, the recreation, the people," Hall said.

Waller politely defended the proposal, saying that the images put forth have proven to be attractive to tourists.

"Itís what people in our market research responded to," she said.

Councilwoman Terry Tracy said she might support banners that promoted specific events, such as Ketchumís Wagon Days celebration.

Waller said she will consider modifying the proposal and bringing it back to city leaders.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.





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