The ‘Four C’s’ of the mid-Island should market themselves as one entity

The Four C’s are Cumberland, Comox, Courtenay, and Campbell River

Filed for publication with the Campbell River Mirror and Comox Valley Record.

The mayors and councillors of the four C’s.

Mr. Andy Adams, Mr. Bob Wells, Ms. Leslie Baird and Mr. Russ Arnott and the councillors of their towns (sic).

You may be interested in an idea that could revolutionize your tourist potential.

This nonpolluting, big dollar producer could grow to be a big, ever-growing contributor to your economy. Please allow me to explain:

You live and work in one of the favoured parts of the world. You have been endowed with major natural resources. These attributes are distributed to the (four) 4 C’s, C, C, C, and C – Cumberland, Comox, Courtenay and Campbell River.

Let me give some bona fides; I am ancient. I have come here for many years, originally visiting Strathcona Park Lodge, Forbes Landing and staying at Painters Lodge. My daughter, raised in West Vancouver, wanted to live here so she moved, married and raised her family in Campbell River. I have continued to visit the four C’s for many years and I am continually delighted by its many attractions.

Many people in Vancouver, hundreds of thousands, have never been here. They have never heard an enthusiast wax eloquent re: the beaches, the lakes, the mountains, the fishing and the hiking, or explaining the four C’s, Cumberland, Comox, Courtenay, and Campbell River.

The advertising re: this area is very scatter gun. The area is not advertised, only the towns, individually, and its particular attractions. Think, would you write your friends in the east and invite them to come out to Comox and visit the beach? Or visit Campbell River and fish? Or visit Courtenay and visit the alpine area of the mountain? Or visit Cumberland to see the best funky museum one could ever see? No, it won’t sell. Lots of places have a beach, have fishing, have a mountain. There are lots of museums.

However, in one package of the 4 C’s, you have multiple attractions of magnitude, great beaches, great fishing, the best alpine in the mountains, fabulous lakes and on and on and on.

Start calling your area the four C’s, Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River, four towns all spelled starting with the letter C. Is there any other site in North America with quad (4) towns linked together by geography with their names each starting with the same letter? I don’t think so.

There are the twin (2) cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, there are the tri (3) cities of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo in Ontario. There are the tri cities in the state of Washingon, Pasco, Kennewick and Richland and the tri towns in B.C., Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. There are the quad cities on the border of Illinois and Iowa of Davenport, Rock Island, Moline and Bettendorf. But it seems that there are not twin, tri or quad towns or cities in North America whose names all start with the same first letter…except for the four C’s, Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River.

If the four quad towns chipped in for a program, they could have a formula based on population, assessed value, or something.

So what? Towns could keep advertising as present but a nice flourish would be to name your town, then add “a proud member of the quad towns, the four C’s, Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River.”

Give a cash prize for the best logo design re: the 4 C’s, which could then be used on sport clothing, etc. Each quad town would have a sign re: the 4 C’s.

Travel magazines would like to write articles on the attractions of the 4 C’s area. A checklist of the attractions of each town should be made, ready to be ticked off, one by one as seen. I would bet many locals could not check off all the attractions.

What would this do, apart from increase commerce? It would make every citizen prouder of the four C’s area. I am not a trained publicist but what is evident is that this whole area would be easier to promote than any one of the towns individually, all by itself.

I think each “C” council could get a report from their professionals on the hows and whys and promotional prospects of the 4 C’s concept. Councils could have a meeting in two months to consider voting if they are in favour or not and then, if so decided, carry on to a great success.

The value of talking about an area rather than one site was recently forcibly brought home to me when I saw a publication on the newsstand advertising Yellowstone Park. Having been to Yellowstone, I wondered how they could put out a booklet on that little subject. After the Old Faithful geyser, the big log lodge, the canyon, the waterfall, etc., there is not much to say, however, the booklet said on the cover “Yellowstone and surrounding area.” Now there was a big, big deal to sell. They had the Grand Tetons to sell, they had General Custer’s battlefield, there was the Black Hills and the towns of Deadwood and Lead and the old stamping ground of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. The publication was full of good material for the area and would make anyone want to go to Yellowstone to see the surrounding areas.

Why not duplicate that for your area? Just give yourself, collectively, the very distinctive name, the quad towns – the Four C’s, the only quad in North America with each town spelled with the same first letter! Distinctive, unusual and unforgettable. And a weld to your people – they live in the Four C’s, the greatest locale in North America.

I now transfer this idea and its execution over to you.

Neil S. Thompson

West Vancouver