Columbia is 'Famously Hot' no more as group unveils new branding efforts

Columbia is 'Famously Hot' no more as group unveils new branding efforts

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The City of Columbia might be quite balmy during the summer months, but apparently, the city is not necessarily "famously hot" anymore if new branding efforts are any indication.

According to the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism, a $50,000 research project funded by accommodations taxes collected from visitors staying in the region found that the city is an "appealing destination to visit with strong destination attributes" more so than a city of uncomfortably warm temperatures with a fun, inviting, and youthful atmosphere.

Using that research, the visitor's bureau hired an outside design group at the cost of $100,000 -- using money from the state Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism and private funds -- to come up with a new brand.

When the work was done, "Famously Hot" was sent to the fire pit of Columbia branding history and "The Real Southern Hot Spot" was birthed from the ashes.

Columbia, in its previous branding history, was known as "The New Southern Hot Spot," but the visitor's bureau changed it to "real" as it "speaks to the friendly, approachable and warm personality of the destination."

The design group also created a new logo for the city, a red, almost orange block C.

The visitor's bureau unveiled "Famously Hot" to surprise and bemusement in 2008.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said in a statement that despite the change, Columbia will always be famously hot to him.

"Columbia will always be Famously Hot -- in more ways than one," Benjamin said. "The Real Southern Hot Spot is a natural extension and expansion of the brand that we've worked to build together over the last decade, and I know that it's based on extensive research with potential visitors and meeting planners as well as local partners."

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