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All-America City Committee Wants To Clean Up Fayetteville's Reputation

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Fayetteville is an All-America City, and it wants the rest of the state to know why. The group that helped the city win the award will ask the City Council to pay to advertise what makes Fayetteville so great.

All-America City signs are up around town, bumper stickers are on cars, but leaders who helped Fayetteville land the designation last August said it cannot end with a win and community pride.

To keep the momentum going, The All-America City Committee will ask the City Council for $300,000 to $350,000. All the money would go toward a statewide advertising campaign to promote the award, focusing on economic development, image and tourism.

"I think a $300,000 investment in this phase could be the best money we could spend. We could receive back 10 times that amount in economic stimulus," said George Breece, chairman of the All-America City Committee.

The town of Cary just pulled an advertising campaign on smart growth after taxpayers said they were footing the bill. Although the campaigns are different, some Fayetteville taxpayers say they would feel the same way.

But proponents said that while the award is still new, the next four months could reverse the image Fayetteville has lived with for the last 40 years.

"We hope we can change perception in the consumers' mind," said John Meroski of the Fayetteville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

When Mayor Marshall Pitts was mayor pro tem, he was supportive of some sort of marketing campaign immediately after winning the award. Other members of the council were not, but now, there is a new City Council and Pitts is mayor.


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