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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s):Scott Whiteley Carter

Thursday, June 1, 2006


(Little Rock, AR—June 1, 2006) The quest by City and civic leaders to identify the new Little Rock nickname is one step closer. Today, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and Nickname Little Rock Chair David Bazzel announced the top six suggestions. Throughout the month of June, citizens are being asked to express which one is their favorite.

The top six are (in no particular order):
? America’s Gem
? The Rock
? River City
? Rock Town
? Southern Comfort
? Rock City

Through the media, the City solicited input for a new nickname. Hundreds responded by fax, mail, and email. As Bazzel noted, “Sometimes when you do something like this, you are setting yourself up for people to take potshots. But these responses were positive. It is obvious that people love living and working in Little Rock.”

The committee reviewed every submission. They considered what was a nickname vs. what was a slogan, how frequently were nicknames submitted by different people, the uniqueness of the suggestion--could it apply to another City, and is it something that people already use to refer to Little Rock. After review and much discussion, it was narrowed it down to a top six. The City then decided to go back to the public to gauge response to those tope six. 

Mayor Dailey explained, "Over the next 30 days, the City wants to hear from citizens again. Tell us your favorite one of the top six. After June 30, the public response will be reviewed. The City will then work with professionals to position not only the nickname but also to promote it.”

Opinions can be expressed on the Little Rock website:, by emailing, faxing to City Hall at 371-4498, or by picking up a form at LR City Hall, the River Market, Community Centers, Neighborhood Alert Centers, and the Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center.

In 2005, Tommy Smith and David Bazzel started discussing the idea of a new nickname on their morning radio program. Little Rock was once known as "The City of Roses," but that has long since slipped into the pages of history. After Bazzel and Smith spoke to the City Board, The Mayor asked the City Manager Bruce Moore to assemble a committee to work with them. Assistant City Manager Bryan Day led the effort on behalf of the City.

Others on the Committee included: City Director Brad Cazort, Public Relations Manager Scott Carter, River Market Manager Shannon Light, Starla Ellison of the City Manager's Office, and Mike Wilson and Evangeline Parker of Comcast. The committee also worked with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Partnership.

The announcement was made on the 185th anniversary of Little Rock becoming the capitol of Arkansas. Mayor Dailey noted, “Of course at that time Little Rock was simply an unincorporated settlement scattered in the vicinity of what we now call the River Market district, and Arkansas was a Territory--but people saw promise and opportunity here--so the Capitol was moved here from Arkansas Post.”

The Mayor continued, “Today, I think the response to the nickname effort shows that, people still see promise and opportunity here along the banks of the Arkansas River and throughout all the neighborhoods we now call Little Rock. We look forward to reporting back to you with Little Rock's new nickname later this Summer.”


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