Medford's downtown association takes new name

Medford has lost its heart and gained a new downtown moniker

After 25 years, the Heart of Medford Association will go the way of Huggy Bear and Dell's Hamburgers, other Medford icons from days gone by.

Henceforth, the sign on the association's door in the Woolworth Building on Central Avenue will read Metro Medford Downtown Association.

Executive Director Diane Raymond said other towns around the state favor simpler names, such as the Canby Downtown Association or the Prineville Downtown Association.

"We find a lot of people have never heard of the Heart of Medford — it's just not a good description of who we are," she said. "To that end, we wanted to make it easier to make new people and visitors to find us because it's so much more descriptive."

The name change was birthed during discussion at the association's Jan. 5 meeting, adopted by the board Feb. 18 and announced at an association gathering this evening.

"Nothing else made sense and nothing else came to mind," Raymond said. "It was so clear cut. Sometimes things come together in every way so that you know it was meant to happen."

Taking a cue from broader local marketing efforts which produced the Metro Medford brand in 2012, the erstwhile HMA embraced the nomenclature.

The association's board deliberated, spoke with the city and other partners then moved quickly.

"While we have a healthy respect for where we've been, we are a new organization in the sense that we have an eye on the future and where we are going," Raymond said. "This is an inclusive organization and we are inviting everyone to be part of the downtown we are creating."

— Greg Stiles

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