New year, new strategies to put Old Town Cottonwood's best foot forward

Mitch Levy runs the Old Town Association meeting at the Bootleggers Beer Club in Cottonwood on Wednesday night. VVN/Vyto Starinskas<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Mitch Levy runs the Old Town Association meeting at the Bootleggers Beer Club in Cottonwood on Wednesday night. VVN/Vyto Starinskas<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

COTTONWOOD -- A good crowd of business operators gathered at the Bootleggers Beer Club Wednesday evening to welcome board members for the Old Town Association and to plan for the New Year.

President Mitch Levy told the crowd that Old Town is getting a shot of publicity on three billboards in the Phoenix area as part of a deal with the Arizona Office of Tourism that covers half of the $38,000 investment.

The billboards display the slogan, "Come visit the New Old Town," with the web site URL for the Old Town Association.

He said Old Town is also advertising in a dozen periodicals in addition to the billboards. There are no wine-exclusive inserts this time, which drew complaints a year ago. They include the Arizona Official State Visitors Map, AAA, Phoenix Magazine and the Valley Guide.

The Old Town Association is talking about acquiring the massive home Christmas display from Dave Kessel in Cornville to extend the Old Town Christmas Light display south along Main Street. Kessel, of Yavapai Broadcasting, had installed the original Old Town display. But the meeting also heard calls for having more seasonal lighting or light projections in Old Town throughout the year to attract more visitors.

Mitch Levy returns as president along with Hezekiah Allen as Vice President, Larry Cohen is Treasurer and Andrea Harless as Secretary.

Meg Davidson of Local First urged members to continue to renew their membership and take advantage of the promotional activities. As part of the National Local First Coalition in June, many of the expected 500 participants will tour Old Town.

Carrie King encouraged people to become active in One for the Verde. The fundraising program to support the Verde River joined the effort to mount the new information kiosk at the North Main Parking lot near the Old Town Jail.

Levy told the crowd that Run for the Roses lost money last year, but will return this year tweaked so it doesn't schedule on the day of the Verde Valley Fair opening. The OTA is also looking for another event to take place in the spring.

Suggestions included an Old Town Yard Sale. Karen Leff campaigned for a repeat of the Elvis birthday celebrationwith a focus on the 1960s movie Stay Away Joe, which was filmed in Sedona and Cottonwood.


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