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RBC — The old expression, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” came to mind with the recent news report that Fraser, Colo., is no longer the “icebox of the nation.” Another community has been awarded that dubious distinction. It appears that one town’s icebox is another town’s deep freeze, as even word choice for descriptions of weather are subject to scrutiny.
Sloganeers often search for a quirky description of a place to catch the eye of prospective travelers. Area booster organizations, such as the local chamber of commerce dub the region with a phrase that helps paint the most vivid picture of the local scenic wonders. Whatever it is, it has to evoke all of the senses to attract the most tenacious tourists. Many western mountain communities compare their scenery to Switzerland and the Alps, some focus on the wealth of wildlife, both for viewing and hunting alike. Others, like Fraser, focus on the climate, the extreme cold that lends itself to enjoyment of a wide variety of winter sports.
For years, Fraser and Gunnison have been vying to be recognized as the coldest place in the state. According to a recent television news report, Fraser will no longer be able to use any slogan referring to an icebox. It was unclear what community was allowed to make the claim but I didn’t hear Gunnison mentioned either. I’m not sure what authority deemed that they had to rescind their assertion (as I only heard it in passing) or if they are allowed to use another word such as refrigerator instead.
Self-designated hot spots dot the west but it appears now that tourism has become such a big business, rules and regulations relating to trademark infringement get cited more and more often. Wyoming’s widespread ad campaign in the past two years asserts that their state is an outpost of the wild west, eventually trademarking the phrase, “Forever West.”
While Fraser is still renowned for their extreme temperatures, they must come up with a different reference to the chilly clime, especially for advertising purposes. Perhaps a polar bear, or ice cube. Alaska appears to have a lock on most of those symbols and apparently tourists don’t flock to places that are pictured as an ice cube. Luckily our unofficial slogan “Largest migrating elk and deer herds anywhere” never really lent itself to a fight with other places.