Chamber changes town’s name to “Montcross”

February 7, 2008 at 1:18 pm 7 comments

Yes, that is the word around town the past couple of weeks – for real. We are not making this up.

And people are furious.

So much for the gossip gabbies, the name change of the Chamber is NOT the name change of the town — so settle down. It is just the Chamber name not the town name.


At the very end of the Chamber’s annual dinner on January 24, an announcement was made that the Belmont Chamber would hence be known as the the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce, signifying the regional aspect and vision of the Belmont community.

Several members were “aghast” (our words) over the development. Some were downright angry that a small group of people could change the focus of a community chamber that quickly and without much external debate.

However, most of the Belmont Chamber’s membership are not truly Belmont businesses, but branch representatives, and businesses with market groups in the Belmont area. When speaking with several different board members about the proposal, it seems that many of the 2007 board were not present at the meetings where this name change was discussed — or so they say. This discussion had been taking place over the course of several board retreats, but never was really discussed publically. 

So, it begs the question, who voted for the name change? Do people serve on boards of directors to build resumes and networked inside tracks, or are just a minority driving the agenda?

Upset small business owners who are members of the chamber for 2008 have one way to drive their point home. Vote by withholding your membership dues upon renewal — of course, for many that isn’t until next November or December. Not really a wise idea though…big things are ahappinin’…

We hope that the the Abbey/Parkdale/Stowe Mill consortium known as Montcross paid big money to rebrand a community name, along with the regional focus.

With an expected $2 billion investment and 14,000 jobs over the 20-year+ master plan for the development, it seems logical to “help” Bill Monroe, and the Abbey with a more visible name than Belmont.

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Entry filed under: Belmont, Belmont Abbey College, Belmont Chamber of Commerce, Belmont Front Porch, Community, Destinations, Downtowns, Economic Development, Gaston County, Land use, Montcross.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. OutSpoken  |  February 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I just hope the truly local organizations set up to boost local businesses can pick up the slack of a group that can’t refuse the economic pull of big business and bucks.

  • 2. Steve K.  |  February 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Montcross?! Really?! Ummm, as a relatively new resident to the Belmont area, it seems to me that Belmont is just starting to get its name established in the broader Charlotte region. So to switch it to “Montcross” now seems totally … stupid. Is the Abbey going to change its name to Montcross College??? God, I hope not. This kind of news really makes me suspicious of and angry at politicians. I hope they see the error of their ways and correct it — soon. I’d support any business that withheld its dues from the Chamber until they rectify this name goofiness. Honestly. Montcross?!

  • 3. Geno  |  February 8, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I believe this is a foolish move and is insulting to the City of Belmont and its businesses and residents. The Chamber is not a government entity so it can do what it wishes, but it’s more egotistical than logical.

  • 4. Becca  |  February 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Between the monks and the LeVecchia’s there is nothing left of the Belmont I moved here for. Thanks Chamber…you did good until now!!!

  • 5. Irl  |  February 13, 2008 at 10:29 am

    About 5 years ago, the Belmont Chamber struggled to pay their bills with just 100 members or so. They started a big campaign to increase membership and today they have over 300. Half those members do not have Belmont addresses. To continue calling what is clearly an East Gaston regional chamber The Belmont Chamber does not meet the needs of those members. In addition, they want to appeal more to Mt. Holly businesses who do not have a Chamber because they merged with Gastonia several years ago. (That’s when the Gastonia chamber became the Gaston Chamber, hence their regional name.) To continue using the Belmont name would be a slap in the face to the new members and a hindrance to future membership drives. It was not meant to be a slap in Belmont’s face.
    I agree that they probably could have found a better name than Montcross but the Chamber feels that over the next few years it will become a destination such as Birkdale in Charlotte or Baxter in Fort Mill. Both those areas are known for their developments and not the cities they represent. They felt that calling it East Gaston would infringe on the other Chamber’s name and Lake Wylie and/or Catawba were already taken. Montcross seemed to be the one a majority of their membership could agree on. A change was needed.

  • 6. Geno  |  February 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Bill Monroe for Mayor! LOL ( tongue-in-cheek)

  • 7. Ron Stewart  |  February 28, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    The problem with the name change was the manner in which it was handled. A small group of people made a decision on behalf of 300+ members of the organization. Furthermore, it appears to have been purposely handled in a very secretive fashion. The announcement at the Annual Banquet left the entire auditorium stunned and in disbelief. Clearly, any Board of Directors would realize that changes of this magnitude should be at the wishes of a majority of the membership that it has been elected to serve. The current Chamber leadership should realize that it made a major mistake and reverse it’s decision in favor of a vote of the general membership. If the membership is in support of this change, then, while not in agreement, I could and would accept the change.


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