New Signs in Corning Guide Tourists to ‘Center of the Olive Universe’

4 Jan
By Janet O’Neil
Published in the Record Searchlight on December 15th, 2011
 

CORNING — Two new welcome signs greet visitors to this Tehama County city, offering a guide to the area’s olive-based attractions and other points of interest. “Dewey Lucero’s kind of been the real champion of the whole thing,” Corning Planning Director John Stoufer said. Last week volunteers installed the signs, 16 feet tall and 7 feet wide, that point the way to Lucero’s company, Lucero Olive Oil LLC, and other businesses.

Both feature a “swoosh” logo Lucero had designed by a graphic artist and endorsed by the City Council in July. The signs are at the southeast corner of Solano Street and Highway 99 west near Taco Bell, and the northeast corner of South Avenue and Highway 99 west near Love’s Travel Stop. “The whole goal is to try to get travelers up and down I-5 to circulate through Corning and to help the business climate any way we can,” Stoufer said. While the city worked to modify sign rules to accommodate the installation, the Rotary Club contributed funds, the six destination businesses split costs and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. donated labor. Tom White Construction and Bob Seaman Welding also helped. “It kind of came together as a community effort,” Stoufer said.

The signs are part of a plan to draw tourists, including a city theme: “Center of the Olive Universe.” Lucero provided the city with a second, simpler logo for municipal use, which appears on the side of a police car. “All for under $25,000,” including the designs, advertising and signs, he said. Corning’s efforts are separate from a countywide branding campaign, under the guidance of Seattle-based Destination Development International. Fundraising is ongoing for the plan, which ultimately will produce a Tehama County brand as well as brands for Red Bluff, Manton and Corning.

“We pushed forward and I’m so glad we did,” Lucero said. The signs already are getting attention in town. “We’ve had a ton of comments just from local people,” Lucero said.

They were put to the test Saturday, when his olive oil company hosted its first winter crush celebration. Some 2,000 people showed up throughout the day to see citrus olive oil being made, taste the end product and witness cooking demonstrations, Lucero said. “There were several comments about the new sign,” Lucero said. “It made it convenient to find where they were going.” He has long maintained that the area’s agricultural attributes can do what wine has done elsewhere. “I think this is really going to put us on the map as the Napa of olives and olive oil,” he said.

To view the original story please visit: http://www.redding.com/news/2011/dec/15/new-signs-guide-tourists-to-center-of-the-olive/
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