Tryon name change eyed

JOHNSTOWN – The proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Perth may end up having a different name, pending results of a regional branding effort.

Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz said Monday the county’s contract with branding firm North Star Destination Strategies of Nashville, Tenn., continues, and the company is still gathering information.

“They’re working with people who live outside Fulton County, but do business in Fulton County,” he said.

But as part of that branding report being worked on by North Star, Mraz said there is a “chance” the name of the proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center may end up being changed. A branding effort involves identifying a community or region for marketing purposes. The Tryon facility for many decades was associated with the former Tryon Detention Center for incarcerated juveniles, which closed a few years ago.

The Fulton County Industrial Development, headed by Mraz, is working with the county to bring the new technology park to fruition.

In addition to the ongoing branding effort, the county’s 2014 capital plan identifies a “Jump Start Fulton County” initiative to hire a professional marketing firm.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently hired DCG Corplan Consulting LLC of West Orange, N.J., for $139,480 to prepare a targeted industry analysis and marketing plan for Tryon.

Mraz said DCG Corplan Consulting will now “touch bases” with North Star to try to answer this question: “Is Tryon the appropriate name?”

“That determination will be made as part of that process,” he said.

DCG Corplan Consulting will: prepare an assessment of the Fulton County region, labor market analysis, target industry analysis and marketing plan; develop initial marketing materials and a Tryon website; and provide business recruitment services.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors in October authorized a contract between the county and the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency to hire North Star Destination Strategies to develop the brand for the two counties.

The “community blueprint” is being developed by the firm for economic development marketing purposes at a total cost of $46,000. The direct cost to Fulton County is $13,000. National Grid is paying $23,000 of the cost. The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is contributing $10,000 through proceeds of a 2013 marketing contract with Fulton County.

The Montgomery County IDA first hired North Star to conduct a branding project for its county last June, but the IDA later agreed to amend that contract to expand its scope of work to a project for both counties.