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Downtown marketing spotlights 'Metro Medford'

Medford has lost its "heart" but gained a new downtown moniker.

After 25 years, the Heart of Medford Association will go the way of Huggy Bear and Dell's Hamburgers.

Henceforth, the sign on the HMA door in the Woolworth Building on Central Avenue will read: Metro Medford Downtown Association.

When you travel around the state, you will find the "Canby Downtown Association" or the "Prineville Downtown Association," Executive Director Diane Raymond said. "We find a lot of people have never heard of the Heart of Medford — it's just not a good description of who we are. To that end, we wanted to make it easier for new people and visitors to find us, because it's so much more descriptive."

The name change was birthed during discussions at a Jan. 5 HMA meeting and was adopted by the board Feb. 18. The new name was announced at an association gathering Tuesday.

"Nothing else made sense and nothing else came to mind," Raymond said. "It was so clear-cut. Sometimes things come together in every way so that you know it was meant to happen."

Taking a cue from broader local marketing efforts that produced the Metro Medford brand in 2012, the erstwhile HMA embraced the nomenclature.

The association's board deliberated, spoke with the city and other partners, then moved quickly.

"While we have a healthy respect for where we've been, we are a new organization in the sense that we have an eye on the future and where we are going," Raymond said. "This is an inclusive organization, and we are inviting everyone to be part of the downtown we are creating."

The makeover will come at a nominal cost, because there are no stacks of letterheads and business cards in the association's office.

"It will cost a couple of hundred dollars at best," Raymond said. "And most of what has to be done doesn't have to be done right away. We live in a technological age where everything is digitally done."

The one sign that has to be changed, she said, is on the office door.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.