SANDY — After taking a public beating with several controversial projects, Sandy is hoping to enter the new year with a positive image.

Aiming to give residents more community pride and be an attractive place for businesses, the city will start the new year with various billboards, radio spots and national ads.

Ads will highlight the city's best features. Preliminary billboard designs read:

• Take a hike: On any of our 58 miles of hiking trails.

• Be careful: You're now leaving the 26th safest city in America.

• Hang on to your wallet: You're now leaving one of the lowest taxed cities in Utah.

"That would create quite some head-turning," said Tom Love, owner of Love Communications. The public relations and marketing firm was hired for $25,000 to do Sandy's branding and marketing campaign. Love Communications is also the company that represents Real Salt Lake soccer. The team will open its stadium in late 2008 in Sandy.

"Sandy has a personality. And it's got to come through. Sandy is fun, it's welcoming with open arms," he added. "And it's important economic development messages."

The campaign will show off Sandy's bragging rights, such as no property tax increases in 22 years, a Money Magazine ranking of 23rd best place to live in America, 24 parks and a strong entertainment core.

They're messages Sandy residents should be proud of too, said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. It will create "buzz" about Sandy — similar to the city's "The Other Downtown" marketing campaign that was launched about 10 years ago. The city won a national marketing award for the campaign.

"We're focusing on who we are and the changes that have been made the last 10 years," Dolan said. "We want people to know land is still available here. Class A office space, convenience to shopping, light rail. All those assets people are looking for when they're relocating.

"We have a great story to tell and we want to tell it."

Sandy officials are also hoping the campaign will draw a better light to the city, in wake of controversy surrounding the development of the Real soccer stadium and the gravel pit, where a mixed-use development with a Wal-Mart now stands.

"It's something that we think will help us to stay on the cutting edge of keeping momentum going and continuing to build the city," said Bryant Anderson, council chairman. He stressed that the city wants developers to understand that the city is not built-out.

As part of the strategy, Sandy has also redesigned its logo. The former logo had a picture of the then new City Hall. But the city wanted a more unique image to define the city. The new logo features the mountain hilltops with a trail coming down the middle.

"We wanted our identity for the 21st century," Dolan said. "In our case, it's Lone Peak and Little Cottonwood Canyon."

Sandy will launch its new marketing campaign at the beginning of 2008.

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