City slogan rakes in visitors and money for Columbus

The Chattahoochee Valley or The Fountain City. No matter what you call it, the phrase refers to one thing: Columbus, Georgia.

In 2003, the city along with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau collectively invested $70,000 in the branding of the city and "What progress has preserved" was born.

"We are growing and evolving always, but part of our classic identity is respecting the past," said Shannon Gray, Director of Research North Star.

Gray told a crowd at the Trade Center Thursday morning that after 10 years, the city of Columbus has seen a spike in tourism raking in more than one million dollars each year since the branding project began.

"Despite the recession, and despite communities all around us having numbers go down," said Gray, "Columbus has increasingly every year had higher amounts numbers of tourism."

The slogan "What Progress has Preserved" pays tribute to the city's reuse of historical landmarks like the Trade Center, which was once Columbus Iron Works and the Eagle & Phenix Mills.

"It shows that Columbus is a city that is constantly evolving, that is growing that is moving forward," Gray said.

Peter Bowden, CEO of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that Columbus has improved over the years and new attractions like Whitewater will help bring even more people to the city.

"It's working for us," Bowden said. "There has been significant impact because of the community has come together and is speaking with one voice."

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