Campaign For Crittenden County

March 3, 2006--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CST

WEST MEMPHIS, AR--Just another stop on I-40.  To some Memphis residents that's the image that is attached to it's sister city just across the river in West Memphis.  It's an image that the "Campaign for Crittenden County " is trying to eliminate in a campaign to show Memphians what's just over the bridge.

"To reintroduce this area to the Memphis market so they can see more of what's here. More than just what they see from the Interstate," said West Memphis Chamber of Commerce Member Jack Poff.

The "Campaign for Crittenden County" is a group effort by the Chambers of Commerce for both West Memphis and Marion, in addition to the Crittenden County Home Builders Association and Board of Realtors.

"If the county grows then Marion and West Memphis will grow and for that to happen we have to work together," said Holmes Hammett, Manager of the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce. 

The group has produced a commercial which will air on local Memphis television stations highlighting some of the advantages to living in Crittenden County.

"The small town atmosphere.  We have much lower taxes than Memphis and we have award winning schools," said Poff.

While West Memphis and Memphis are only separated by the Mississippi River, to a number of residents the distance is much farther. That is the bridge stigma the group is trying to eliminate with the video by showing that you can be to downtown Memphis from West Memphis in less than 10 minutes.

"As compared to people who live in east Memphis, Mississippi in South Haven or Olive Branch takes them 30 minutes to get downtown. We can be there in 5 or 10 minutes," said Holmes.

With new industry, new construction and over 300 homes already on the market the group believes Crittenden County is poised to become a suburban extension of Memphis.

"I think now if we gain this publicity, there will be more jobs, and this will be the type of thing that will help us grow like the rest of the metropolitan area," said Poff.

The commercials will begin airing in late spring but the group doesn't expect to see results from the campaign for a couple of years. The campaign will cost around $150,000 dollars and is being financed by both local businesses and public agencies in Crittenden County.