Group continues to market port

Group continues to market port

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 9:00 pm

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Completion of the Cates Landing project in Lake County may still be 18 months away, but a marketing team continues to be focused on promoting the economic development project.
The project’s marketing committee met for about 45 minutes Wednesday at the Obion County Public Library. The marketing meeting followed the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority’s board meeting at the local library.
The marketing team is headed by former TVA marketing specialist Kerry Brannon. Among those who serve on the committee are key local, regional and state economic development officials.
He led a discussion of potential funding sources, advertising plans and ways to promote the port and industrial park to industrial prospects.
One of the key issues that emerged at the meeting was the need for the marketing team and the port authority board to work together on promoting the project.
Actual construction work on the port will shift into high gear this summer.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.
As the construction phase of the project moves forward, the marketing committee is advancing its work promoting the site to industrial prospects.
Work on getting Cates Landing designated a Foreign Trade Zone is continuing, and that is a key asset the marketing team is counting on to promote the site to prospective industries.
“We know it’s a good thing that’ll increase the marketability of the site,” Brannon said.
He reported to the committee that city, county and economic development officials across West Tennessee are being kept informed about developments taking place with the Cates Landing project.
Brannon said work is continuing on website development, brochures, a possible on-site Internet camera to document the progress on the construction of the port and even special receptions to market the site to industrial prospects and site selection consultants.
Also, print ads are being considered for publication in business journals in Memphis, Chicago, New York and in California.
Getting the message out nationwide about the strategic location of the Cates Landing port is a task the marketing team is obviously taking very seriously.
Brannon explained the marketing committee will be working very closely with chambers of commerce throughout the region.
Because Cates Landing is being developed as an environmentally friendly project, Brannon said the Environmental Protection Agency is also helping market Cates Landing.
“They are really promoting this project,” Brannon said. “They are really excited.”
Cates Landing, which is located about six miles north of Tiptonville along the eastern shores of the Mississippi River, has already attracted the attention of several industrial prospects.
One major industrial prospect which was thought to have been lost is reportedly now reconsidering the Cates Landing site.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 5.13.11

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