CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

November 19, 2012

A door to the future


The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — With elections cleared and a new year fast approaching, a giant step toward a brighter future was made in Cullman last week.

City officials gathered with an Atlanta-based marketing firm, Son&Sons, to discuss the idea of bringing the area into focus as a destination. At least that’s part of the plan.

After the initial meeting and a sit-down with Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce leaders, the plan for the future found a beginning.

What do residents and local leaders want to portray about their community? What are the attractions? What are the community’s best qualities? How can all of those positive be grouped into a singular marketing plan that attracts news residents and visitors?

City officials said earlier this year they were considering hiring a tourism director to promote the area. Later, those officials said they would wait to see what direction the chamber would take when it hires a new leader.

The waiting period is actually beneficial as the chamber draws closer to hiring a new leader and interests builds in creating a brand for Cullman County.

The encouraging part of this idea is that city leaders are not interested in promoting only Cullman. They want to see a unified Cullman County working toward measured growth and drawing visitors to enjoy the grand qualities that locals already appreciate.

Some of the qualities noted in last week’s meeting included an active downtown area, a strong agricultural community, and outstanding schools. Just those few qualities are excellent building blocks for growth and tourism.

Efforts are under way to draw more entertainment into the area, including negotiations with country music superstar Sara Evans to host an annual music festival here.

But key in this desire to move forward is unity among Cullman, the county and the towns and cities in the area. Cullman County is large enough to offer a lot of good things for visitors if local leaders and residents stand together. The opportunity for making the area one of the region’s top destinations is knocking. A unified local community will open the door to the future.