November 17, 2005
Welcome to the city of Your-Name-Here

Here's one way for a town of 125 people to put itself on the map.

Back in the 1950s, Hot Springs, N.M., was renamed Truth or Consequences, N.M., after a popular quiz show. During the dot-com boom of 2000, Halfway, Ore., agreed to become for a year.

This week, Clark, Texas, morphed into DISH in exchange for a decade of free satellite television from the DISH Network for the town's 55 homes. Residents in Santa, Idaho, meanwhile, are weighing the pros and cons of changing to, Idaho.

Just curious - do SBC and Verizon know about this? Talk about government involvement in broadband access! Too bad they didn't think of this when they were pimping the telecom bill this past summer.

In a deal unanimously approved Tuesday by the two-member town council, Clark agreed to become DISH permanently, effective immediately. It's part of an advertising campaign for Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar Communications Corp., which operates the DISH Network satellite TV system.

Two-member town council, huh? Guess they have a lot of unanimous decisions. What happens if it's a tie? Best two out of three falls?

The company pegged the deal at about $4,500 per home in the rural patch of ranch land, which is about a half hour's drive north of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Beyond the lure of free TV service for the 125 residents, the renaming is a way for the town to attract businesses and residents, said Mayor Bill Merritt, who courted EchoStar to pick the town.

"We really look at this as kind of a rebirth for our community," Merritt said. "We want everybody to come here."

Whatever. I think this sort of thing is silly, and probably not worth it for either side in the long run, but I don't really care. It's not like this is a historic hamlet we're talking about here - the place was founded five years ago. For what it's worth, I can't say that "free satellite TV" would be more important to me in my where-to-buy-a-house decision than, say, the local school district and my commute time, but to each his own. If it helps them to eventually be able to afford an odd number of town council members, it's all good. Thanks to Sue for the tip.

UPDATE: In the Pink beat me to this.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 17, 2005 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

Would you be willing to pay lower taxes if Houston changed it's name to "Huggies Baby Wipes" for a few years?

Posted by: Charles Hixon on November 17, 2005 4:30 PM

Houston being known as a "Can-Do" city, I would prefer renaming it Viagra, Texas.*

*In the event the city experiences an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, please evacuate the city immediately, and contact the Surgeon General.

Posted by: RedScare on November 17, 2005 6:44 PM

I seem to remember a town in the Northwest renaming itself Joe Montana about fifteen years ago. Do you suppose they upgraded to Steve Young, then Jeff Garcia, and now Cody Pickett?

Posted by: Linkmeister on November 18, 2005 12:17 AM