Editorial: Looking for a sign

Our View

The addition of a small electronic scrolling marquee on the Moffat County Fairgrounds sign facing U.S. Highway 40 is a positive one. However editorial board members contend the sign isn’t being used to it’s potential.

Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Patt McCaffrey

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

Late last month, the Moffat County Tourism Association unveiled a new county logo and slogan, part of an attempt to boost Moffat County’s name recognition and draw more tourists.

The effort, as well as the result, was commendable and addressed an issue of great importance for a community trying to diversify its economy.

But while the new brand platform addresses how to bring people to Moffat County, a recent addition to the Moffat County Fairgrounds sign facing U.S. Highway 40 helps those that already have made the trip.

That addition — a small electronic scrolling marquee — has the potential to help inform visitors of special events and any other helpful tidbits or pieces of news without leaving the comfort of their automobile. It also provides a nice welcome for those coming in to Moffat County for the first time, helps brighten the drab east side of town and is a major upgrade over the older, tree-covered marquee located across the street.

However as much as it commends county officials for installing the digital marquee, the editorial board doesn’t think it’s being used to it’s potential.

For starters, the size, placement and speed of the marquee make it difficult to read, especially while driving past it. One editorial board member even failed to notice it despite driving past it regularly in the several months since its installation.

Though it’s placement seems convenient — it was fit nicely into a gap in the middle of the fairgrounds sign — combined with a small size, it can get lost in the rest of the sign to those not paying close attention.

And while size and placement may not be issues easy to fix, the speed with which text moves across the marquee probably is. The editorial board realizes it is important to inform people as much as possible in the short time their attention is drawn to the sign, but if the text moves too fast to be legible it renders the sign largely useless.

Another easily correctable issue is the displaying of outdated information. While it’s understandable for information on an event to remain on the marquee a couple days after its completion, the same cannot be said for information on events that are several weeks old.

As of the beginning of this week, the sign still displayed information promoting the Colorado State BBQ Championship and Balloon Festival — which took place three weeks ago.

As one editorial board member put it, that doesn’t just cancel out the positive influence the marquee has on tourism in the county, it makes that positive a negative.

Think about it. How would you feel if you drove out of your way to visit a town, only to be misdirected and misinformed as soon as you arrive?

With the technological ease present in today’s world, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have someone update the marquee on a weekly basis, instead of the monthly cycle that seems to exist now.

However despite these issues, the editorial board thinks the sign represents a good step toward becoming the tourist-friendly destination we all desire.

The only other problem the board sees with the sign is that there aren’t more of them. Those coming to Moffat County or Craig from the west, north, south, or even those who use the First Avenue bypass would all benefit from seeing a bright sign welcoming them to town and informing them of what’s happening.

Installing a marquee on the fairgrounds sign was a solid first move . The editorial board hopes it isn’t the last.

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