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A return to old slogan for biggest city in Vt.

'West Coast' tag was used in '80s

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont's biggest city has a not-so-new slogan.

After nearly two years of study in which hundreds of possibilities were considered, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce settled on "The West Coast of New England."

It is the same slogan used by Burlington businesses and the chamber in the mid-1980s.

"We kept coming back to 'The West Coast of New England.' It just perfectly meets all the criteria of a great regional slogan," said chamber vice president Tim Shea. The group fielded hundreds of suggestions, including "Lakes, Mountains & Sunsets, Oh, my," and "Naturally Refined."

Among the others:

"Watch the sun set on New England."

"What happens in Burlington stays with you."

"Home of the good life."

The slogan and an accompanying logo were unveiled Wednesday, capping an effort that included a branding study and a $35,000 contract with a consultant. The slogan, logo, and a Web "tool kit" containing marketing tips will be made available to approximately 3,000 businesses that are members of the chamber and the Burlington Business Association.

Early reviews are mixed.

"Now that it's out there, we'll definitely look for ways to utilize it," said Brian Searles, aviation director of Burlington International Airport.

Jim Calhoun, 42, of Morrisville, who was interviewed as he walked up Church Street, was lukewarm to it.

"It's comparing New England to the West Coast, as if we're missing something," he said. "I think New England has a lot to offer."

Charism Advisors, a consulting firm based in Lexington, Mass., that was hired to do the branding study, triggered controversy earlier when it concluded that linking Burlington with Vermont was important.

"Vermont without Burlington is 'New Hampshire,' " the study stated, "a nice looking but rather drab state with little to do, no hub of civilization, just somewhere to pass through."

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