Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Skies are Friendly to Springfield...

NBC affiliate WWLP and the Republican (look for the full story in tomorrow's paper) both reported today that US Airways is featuring Springfield in an article detailing its recovery and highlighting the advantages of the city and the Pioneer Valley.

The article itself was warmly received by Mayor Charles Ryan and Economic Director David Panagore. Western Massachusetts businesses reported bought ad space throughout the articles pages when news of the story broke.

The timing of this article is quite important. The city has more or less weathered the financial crisis. The challenge now rests with improving the city's economy and reducing the high poverty rates. The US Airways Magazine, like other airlines and Amtrak, is found aboard flights and its available to passengers. A positive article in such a magazine with wide reach can double as a promoter to the eyes of potential investors traveling here there and everywhere.

Of course this is the good news. However, it is also as good as a time as any for city officials and residents to remember that the job is hardly done. Widening Springfield's exposure can generate interest, but that is not development.

There is a second factor that cannot be ignored. US Airways does serve Bradley Airport and connects the airport to high profile locations like Washington. Incidently, somebody going to Hartford for familyreasons or to the Connecticut coast for vacation may daytrip to Springfield.

Springfield's exposure to those willing to invest the capital is going to be key to any long term recovery. This magazine article is not enough. New York Times articles are not enough. They help, but what will really help is results...and some optimism rising from residents themselves.

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