Past branding efforts like ‘Discover Columbus’ and ‘Surprise, It’s Columbus’ have fizzled and failed to lure tourists to the city, which boasts ‘the most accurate replica’ of the Santa Maria, one of Christopher Columbus’s ships.
— Columbus Insists, There’s Lots of There There
My home city has a bit of a branding problem. Columbus is a great city to live, work, and grow up in. It’s full of good office jobs with plenty of affordable houses in nice, safe neighborhoods with great schools.
But there’s no reason to go to Columbus unless you live there or are visiting someone who does. I don’t think the city can really change that. Nobody cares about the Santa Maria, not even the people who live there.
There’s nothing wrong with being what Columbus is — a nice place to live. Why does it need to be a tourist destination?
That said, “Surprise, It’s Columbus” is the worst, most ill-suited, and most hilarious city motto I’ve ever heard.