Port Royal looking to create its own brand - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Port Royal seeks to brand itself

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PORT ROYAL, SC (WTOC) -

Cities like Savannah, Charleston, Miami and New York City all share something in common. They have a distinct brand and identity.

The town of Port Royal is in the process of developing one of their own.

Port Royal has a rich history and a business friendly environment, but those who live here say it often gets confused with the city of Beaufort and other parts of the county.

It's home to the second oldest functioning school in the state of South Carolina, and it was featured in parts of "Forrest Gump."

The town of Port Royal was founded in 1562 but it doesn't seem to be as identifiable as its neighbors.

"We get confused with Port Royal the Plantation in Hilton Head Island and sometimes we get confused with the city of Beaufort or Beaufort County, so we do have a little bit of an identity crisis," said Joe Lee, Port Royal Councilman.  

Town officials want to change that.

They're seeking a consulting firm to help brand and market the town.

So far five companies have responded to the offer and the obvious goal is to attract more small business owners to the area.

"We're very business friendly. Not very many places that you can own a business where you can walk to the water for lunch and just sit on the beach," said Lee.

Nancy Vista, owner of Nuances, agrees it's time for Port Royal to be recognized.

"It's quite amazing to me actually is that we are the oldest settlement in the New World, we're three years older than St Augustine. Most people in the area don't know that fact," said Vista.  

Vista has owned several businesses since 2003 and says customers comment the most on the town's charm when they visit.

"It has this feeling of kind of time forgotten, it seems frozen in the past. It brings back a nostalgia, they can't quite identify what it is what they like, it's a very warm, very friendly place," she said.  

And the town hopes those kinds of people will make their way down to live and work in Port Royal.

Town officials will start interviewing the five companies on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Following the interviews, town officials will vote on the best vendor at their Dec. 11 council meeting.

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