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Maine resort town picks 'shore' slogan

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine -- After two town votes, Old Orchard Beach has a new slogan.

''It's a Shore Thing" is expected to appear on welcome signs, shuttle buses, and elsewhere.

The winner was suggested by Old Orchard resident Lee Boutwell and announced at a town council meeting this week. It received nearly as many votes as the other two contenders combined: ''Great Place to Visit, an Even Better Place to Live" and ''Old Orchard Beach -- The Original Maine Attraction."

In the final round of voting, 275 people cast ballots in person, by mail, and on the town's website.

Caroline Roldan, an assistant town planner, said the town decided to adopt a slogan for marketing purposes and as a way of rallying the community around efforts to bring about a downtown renaissance.

''Old Orchard has had a little bit of a stigma for a while," said Joe Gallant as he shoveled snow Wednesday in front of the Crazy Eight Saloon.

Three downtown businesses were destroyed by fire in September. The blaze was the third to hit downtown Old Orchard Beach in two years.

Maine has more upscale resorts, but Old Orchard Beach continues to attract big crowds in the summer. The beach alone is a powerful lure.

Julie Briggeman, manager of the Old Orchard Beach Inn, said that she would have preferred a slogan emphasizing the town's history but that a catchy phrase could help the town promote itself.

''It's kind of like branding," she said. ''You want that slogan to be stuck in people's heads."

Mike Gardner said the town is unlikely to change.

''I think it's nice, but it's Old Orchard," said Gardner. ''Old Orchard Beach is going to be the same."

Dick Leeman, director of the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport Chamber of Commerce, said Old Orchard Beach's choice is representative of the town.

''If it's done right, people think of you and it helps create top-of-mind awareness," Leeman contended. ''They'll build on that, grow on that, and hang it everywhere."

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