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LIGHTNING EDITORIAL: 'Four Seasons' tells the tale

The Hendersonville City Council spent most of a day this month brainstorming about Hendersonville's image.


Hendersonville is a great place to vacation and play outside. It's a refuge from the summer heat. It's a good place to raise a family and school the children. It's a top-rated place to retire. It's the world capital of volunteerism, or often seems to be. It welcomes newcomers.
"Hendersonville is a city that's about the people," Main Street Director Lew Holloway said. "The word 'mountain' needs to be in the statement to set us apart from other cities."
Marketing consultant Erica Allison urged council members and city department heads to come up with a phrase that fits on a T-shirt.
At the end of the day council members liked the phrase "Mountain Cool," although they made no decision on adopting that as a new slogan.
To our ear the phrase doesn't strike quite the right tone.
It is cool here but is Hendersonville really cool in the Sixties sense of the word that survives today? In other words, is Hendersonville hip? Of course not.
There's nothing wrong with that.
Before it goes off half-cocked on a new phrase, the city ought to back up and take a little more time. The Tourism Development Authority just paid for an extensive study of Hendersonville and Henderson County, who visits here and why. The study recommended that the TDA update its brand; we don't have a standard recognizable communitywide brand now. The TDA and the city use the phrase Historic Downtown Hendersonville.
"Everybody claims to be historic to a certain degree," said TDA chair Shannon Clarke "So calling ourselves 'Historic Hendersonville' really doesn't set us apart."
Why not City of Four Seasons?
Yes, that's an old phrase, but one that succinctly articulates the appeal of our town and region. Four Seasons has a meaning, too, beyond the weather. It includes, or can be made to include, the arts, outdoor recreation, agriculture, snow skiing (nearby), even jobs and the economy. A "Four Seasons" retirement is one that continues a full life.
"City for All Seasons" might work, too.
It's good to hear that Clarke and the TDA are aware of the need for input and collaboration.
"Our liaison would be Lew (Holloway, a TDA member) and (city manager) John Connet to make sure we're on the same page," he said. The TDA also has made sure that it keeps the Chamber of Commerce and Partnership for Economic Development aware of their ideas.
If the city of Hendersonville and TDA are near the launch of a new image, they ought to make sure they jump hand in hand.