By Mark Tague
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to be featured on one nationally-read magazine. However, what about being featured on two such publications?
Only Carmel could pull it off in less than two months.
With the September publication of Money Magazine’s top places to live in the U.S., Carmel took first for cities with a population more than 50,000. That was not the end of Carmel’s prominence, however, as last week the city was featured on the front page of USA Today.
The most recent recognition concerns the new designs taking place throughout the Arts and Design District.
“(The Money Magazine release) was a very exciting time at city hall,” Mayor Jim Brainard said. “A lot of people have contributed to making Carmel a wonderful place and getting this validation from an outside publication like this is important. It’s not a time to sit back on our laurels, but rather a time to use this to attract really great jobs.”
For a city with a population of 80,000 people, Brainard was thrilled with the Money Magazine distinction. Whether visible to the naked eye or not, those articles do more than report on the city; they also publicize the city for potential business ventures.
“I think it shows recognition of the things we have done in this community, that we are working, that we are on the right track,” Brainard said. “But we need to continue to do them better. The competition’s going to get tougher.”
The latest article is not purely coincidental.
“We are working with a consultant to try to get our name out to attract businesses here,” said Brainard. “It’s a part of our program to promote our city and increase our development efforts. We contacted USA Today and I met with a reporter initially outside of Washington, D.C. Then, the reporter visited Carmel a couple of weeks before the article appeared.”
The city gained more popularity than expected from the piece; Carmel also received an official endorsement from two completely independent sources, both of which are shining a positive light on the city.
“It affects the city (because), it’s great, number one, for all the people who live here,” Brainard said. “It’s great for all the people that work in city government, our school system, the library and the other civic institutions in Carmel as well as businesses.”
After each story ran, Carmel received significant offers from potential city planners. Those relationships set between the city and those entities were not only for one event, though; they also work for the city now.
“Wonderful things happened,” Brainard said. “(When someone asks,) ‘Why should we pay attention to a small town in Indiana?’ I can whip out those articles and say, ‘This is why.’ It gives me a great tool to get Carmel on the map.”