EL PASO, Texas - Since the demolitions of the Asarco smokestacks and City Hall, El Paso's revitalization efforts are taking center stage, on a national level!
"Those demolitions were a graphic demonstration of a city in change," said Bill Blaziek, who is not only GM of the El Paso Convention and Visitor's Bureau, but also leader of the Greater El Paso Strategic Communications Task Force, which is working to change the often-poor perception of El Paso on a national level. "We've often said this is probably the most significant point in the modern history of El Paso."
But convincing others that the Borderland is changing can be a difficult task.
"We identified the problem, we decided on a course of action and it was felt we needed an agency to represent us," Blaziek said.
Locally based advertising agency Mithoff Burton Partners was selected in tandem with DCI out of New York and more than two years after the task force was formed, the demolitions have given El Paso more positive national press in a week than it's seen in the past year.
"Bringing the agency collective together, in particular DCI out of New York, meant that we were going to get voice with the national media," Blaziek said.
Examples include an article in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal headlined "El Paso Steps Up To Plate," as well as articles last week in the San Antonio and Austin newspapers and the Atlantic Cities publication.
"It's all about the economic development of the area," Blaziek said. "It's all about the people of El Paso deciding they wanted a change and it seems that's getting the attention of people around the country."
While the effort continues nationally, many may have seen new billboards going up around town that say "so" and "good" on them. Blaziek said it's all part of the task force effort to make El Pasoans feel better about themselves.
"The week of May 9 is National Tourism Week," he said. "At our annual Spirit of Amigo luncheon at the Convention Center we will reveal the teaser campaign for what it really is and it's going to enthuse and excite El Pasoans about themselves."
Blaziek said a community that feels good about itself, has got to feel good to everybody else. He added that City Manager Joyce Wilson and El Paso Tomorrow's Tripper Goodman are in New York and Washington, D.C., this week, doing interviews with national media about El Paso's changes.