I would appreciate the opportunity to clarify my original remarks in this section.
If one reads carefully, one will note my love for and appreciation of the uniqueness of Payson. The choice I made to live here was not lightly considered.
The issue with which I had (and have) a problem, is the seeming lack of a coordinated effort to promote the town to the outside world.
"Paysoners," like myself and a Mr. Ludwig, know of its many charms. Ask anyone outside this area, however, to describe the town, and I dare say, there will be mostly blank stares. The rodeo, the casino, and ... and ... what? Chaparral Pines? The Rim Club? McDonald's? What defines us? What makes us a destination and not a way station?
The town is changing and will change. It is inevitable. Does anyone, or any entity, have a master plan in mind for that change? Is there a "one-year plan," or a "five-year plan" or any coordinated plan?
There are many individualistic efforts at promoting singular activities. There is a wonderful private effort to place a bronze statue at the entrance to the town, for example. There is practically no support from "official" Payson, though. An elk statue would help define the nature of the town. Elk appear on all the banners lining the Beeline Highway. The elk must have been chosen as an emblem for the town by someone in the past. Who made that decision? Regardless, "Official Payson" seems to be opposed to a private effort to erect a bronze elk statue. Certainly, no one seems wiling to fight for it.
But, "It's Not About The Elk," as I said in my letter. It's about a central "Heart" of a town, a "Soul" -- something which unifies us and gives us great pride as a unique entity. Something to which we can point as "our" identity.
A "Plan" would include certain special activities, events, promotions, all designed to increase awareness of Payson as a special destination. It would be coordinated among all the official bodies and interests. It would be one plan -- not many. It would create momentum. It would be inclusive of all of Payson, public as well as private. It would identify the many unique attractions of the area. It would draw people here from far and wide. It would be a "win" for every business and individual.
Who will come forward with such a plan?
Noble F. Collins, Payson