BY MELANIE BUCK –
Around two-dozen ARCO members from Polk, Scott, and Montgomery counties met in the Ouachita Center at Rich Mountain Community College for a brainstorming session on the newly created logo and slogan for the region on Thursday, August 13.
University of Arkansas Professor of Community and Economic Development, Dr. Mark Peterson, led the session that resulted in many viable ideas to promote all that the area has to offer.
‘Heart of the Ouachitas – Find Your Mountain’ has been selected as the slogan and the logo is still in the works. Many ideas were brought about by the coalition during the meeting to perfect the draft logos presented. ‘Find Your Mountain’ is a metaphor that will be used to find your place in the region whether it be hiking a trail, canoeing a river, or finding your next home.
The goal of the Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas is to highlight the jewels of the region as a draw to tourists, families, retirees, entrepreneurs, and more. Using the unique Ouachita Mountains as the main draw, ARCO will also use the area’s outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, crystal digging, water sports, etc., to attract specialized groups and the slower-paced, safe-net lifestyle for families and retirees.
Peterson explained that it takes time to build a region up through branding, sometimes years, but it is a process that is important and effective. “It creates a magnet; a destination for tourists,” said Peterson.