A group of business owners and residents have branded their section of downtown York in hopes of creating an identity that will be easier to market.
Weco, short for West of the Codorus, is the area roughly between Market and Philadelphia streets from the Codorus Creek to Penn Street. The concept has been in the works for several months, said Sonia Huntzinger, executive director of Downtown Inc, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering investment in downtown that has been helping the group.
“When you have a downtown that spans 26 square blocks, you invariably end up with smaller mini-districts within the larger geography of the downtown,” Huntzinger said in a news release. “Each one of these mini-districts is like its own neighborhood with its own distinctive character, culture and offerings. We helped the stakeholders in the neighborhood work through the process to get to the end result, the brand, which helps them and us market them more cohesively and effectively.”
Over the past few years, Weco has experienced a steady growth of destination locations, including coffee shops, retail, restaurants and recreational establishments including yoga, dance and the YMCA, according to the release.
Destination branding is the process used to develop an identity and personality that is different from all competitive destinations, the release states.
“In this time of economic uncertainty, cities across the world are partaking in image makeovers designed to help them stand out,” Downtown Inc states. “This is accomplished by choosing a consistent brand element to identify and differentiate a destination through positive image building.”
Once rallying around the name Weco, Mandy Arnold, president of Gavin Advertising and a resident of the neighborhood, had her staff create a logo for the neighborhood. The logo “hearkens back to the 1960’s and gives a very laid back vibe, which is what we are trying to convey about our neighborhood,” Arnold said in the release.
The logo will be used on sign posts, shop windows and promotional materials. Business owners also will receive digital copies to use on their own websites. Plans also call for a website and social media presence, according to the release.
Downtown Inc is focusing on building downtown York’s identity across the region. Just this past weekend, it helped organize the most recent Second Saturday on the Square with the Cultural Alliance of York County. The event featured food, artists and other activities designed to promote downtown businesses.
Similar events are planned for Weco, such as the third annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival on Aug. 23, hosted by Jim Lewin at the York Emporium.