HUNTINGTON - The Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Friday that it is rebranding itself in conjunction with a new tourism campaign.
"What was once the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau will now be known as the Huntington Area CVB, and also simply H-Town," said Tyson Compton, president of the Huntington Area CVB, at the organization's headquarters at Heritage Station in downtown Huntington.
Compton also announced a new tourism campaign that invites visitors to see Huntington and surrounding areas through fresh eyes.
"This shortened, contemporary nickname leans on locals' dialect to reflect the modern outlook of the city and region," he said. "Huntington's rebranded image captures resilience and resurgence in the area through various advertisements that encourage locals and visitors alike to redefine their notions of the city."
Compton explained that with the name change, it will also be more clear that the CVB represents both Cabell and Wayne counties.
"Both counties are incorporated into the new logo," he said. "This initiative was built in conjunction with Digital Relativity, a marketing firm in Fayetteville, West Virginia, and aims to embrace a fresh outlook as Huntington strives to overcome its challenges."
Pat Strader, owner and CEO of Digital Relativity, said the rebranding effort was developed around the "Huntington (re)defined" theme.
"This is a very forward-thinking and bold move," Strader said. "It took a lot of guts and a lot of hard work, but we are so excited about it. The work that we have done is to redefine what people think and know about this area by telling the stories through the people that know it best, which are the local people that know what makes this area so special."
Compton said as the CVB and Digital Relativity talked to people who were coming back to the area but had not been here for several years, they shared a feeling of excitement for Huntington and how it has changed for the better.
Abbey Fiorelli, creative director at Digital Relativity, said as they worked on the marketing and advertising efforts, it was clear that the old CVB logo was not representative of the community today.
"We developed the (re)defined theme, which we think embodies the spirit of this area," Fiorelli said. "We wanted to go with a new, nice, clean look and a very sophisticated look, which we think is represented in the new logo and this new tourism campaign."
Fiorelli said there are a lot of misconceptions about what Huntington is or what it used to be.
"It's not that anymore, and we wanted to redefine people's notions about what this area really is," she said.
She said the new campaign redefines all the things that the Huntington area has to offer.
"It's about redefining weekends, redefining food, travel, arts and all the other wonderful things that are here that make it a great place to come and visit and to spend time here," Fiorelli said.
Compton pointed out that Huntington is one of West Virginia's largest cities and home to Marshall University.
"The downtown area has seen recent revitalization as the local retail, arts, sports and restaurant scenes are flourishing," he said. "Both Cabell and Wayne counties are seeing a resurgence as well."
Compton said Cabell County has redefined growth as retail and hotel complexes have recently opened in Barboursville and Milton.
"In Wayne County, Rustic Ravines has redefined adventure and outdoor fun," he said. "And it isn't stopping there. There are many projects in the works in both counties that will continue to position us in a positive way."
Compton also shared some area tourism numbers, which in Cabell County include $115.2 million in direct visitor spending; $8 million in state taxes generated from tourism; $1.5 million in local taxes generated from tourism; and $33.4 million in direct earnings for tourism-related jobs.
In Wayne County there is $45.5 million in direct visitor spending; $2 million in state taxes generated from tourism; $250,000 in local taxes generated from tourism; and $7.6 million in direct earnings for tourism-related jobs.
"There were 1,410 jobs designated as tourism-related in Cabell County and 370 jobs designated as tourism-related in Wayne County," he said.
For more information about the Huntington Area CVB and the new brand, visit the website visithuntingtonwv.org.
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