The just-launched website ‘WHyWestHartford.com’ was created to provide a friendly and easy-to-navigate way to promote the Town of West Hartford to residents, visitors, and businesses.
By Ronni Newton
The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce had been in the planning stages of creating a visitor guide for the town just over a year ago, but then COVID hit, and for a while there weren’t any visitors.
Then things started opening up again in the late spring and summer, and people were leaving crowded cities for more suburban environs. West Hartford Center’s restaurant scene began to thrive again, and there was an article in the New York Times last August where West Hartford was the only Connecticut town listed in the article “Leaving New York: How to Choose the Right Suburb.”
“We started to get calls from people for maps. The town was getting queries, too,” Chamber Executive Director Chris Conway said. And that was when the decision was made to pivot from the original idea of a visitor guide to creation of a robust website that could help promote West Hartford not just to potential visitors, but also to potential new residents and potential businesses in an easy-to-navigate format.
WHyWestHartford, which launched on May 27, is the result.
“The West Hartford Chamber of Commerce is proud to be one of the driving forces behind WHy West Hartford,” Conway said. Along with our partners at the town and West Hartford Community interactive, we are excited to highlight all the wonderful things our town to offer. This collaborative community initiative lets us highlight for residents, visitors, and those new to West Hartford, why we are the place to be.”
Creation of the site has been a local effort, and a labor of love about a town that people genuinely think is a great place to live, work, and play. The logo, designed by John Droney of WHCi, is a map pin with an upper-case “W” and “H” and a lower-case “y” and, as is the custom for many town-wide efforts, uses the red and blue for Conard and Hall. Danielle Hunter of Hunter Design Studios, a Chamber member, designed the website.
There’s a message from Mayor Shari Cantor, a brief overview of the town’s history, a link to community events on the town’s calendar, and myriad resources about topics that include recreation, education, religious and cultural life. There are links to find available commercial and a residential real estate directory, direct links to pertinent pages of the town’s website, and email addresses and phone numbers to obtain additional information.
“Whether you are coming to West Hartford to spend the day or to spend a lifetime, WHy West Hartford will give you a great introduction to our wonderful town that has something for everyone,” Cantor said.
It’s not just a marketing tool, but it’s also a user-friendly site for existing residents and businesses. The section is still being built out, but ultimately the site will also include a complete directory of brick and mortar businesses – not just Chamber of Commerce members – that will be frequently updated.
“The success of our businesses is a top priority,” Town Manager Matt Hart said. “When a new business opens or an existing business expands, we want you to know that the Town and the Chamber are here to support you. We appreciate your investment in our community and we want you to succeed. Your success is our collective success.”
Videos will also be added as the site evolves, Conway said.
In addition to Conway, the committee that created WHyWestHartford.com included Chamber Community Engagement Committee Chair Christine Looby, West Hartford Public Relations Specialist Renée McCue, Economic Development Coordinator Kristen Gorski, and West Hartford Community interactive Executive Director Jennifer Evans.
For more information, follow the website on Instagram and Facebook at @WHyWestHartford.
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