HESPERIA, Calif. — A push is on to rebrand the High Desert region as “Mojave River Valley.”
The region, which lies in San Bernardino County from Hesperia north to Barstow has been called the High Desert, or the Victor Valley, for years. Can it take on a new name?
A group of business owners and residents are trying to make it happen. They are working to rebrand the region.
As Joseph W. Brady looks at a stunning desert landscape he explains it is where more than 15,000 homes are going to be built.
“It’s a 30-year project. It is a $7 billion investment.”
Brady says it will help the region continue to prosper if people stop calling this the High Desert and start calling it the Mojave River Valley.
“When people talk about the High Desert they get us confused with the Antelope Valley and there is a 'High Desert' in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona,” Brady added.
Brady is the owner of commercial real estate agency The Bradco Companies based in Victorville, and the current president of the Victor Valley College Board of Trustees. He has lived in or near Apple Valley for decades.
Now he’s teamed up with other community and business leaders to form the Mojave River Valley Alliance.
“Many of us thought, 'Why don’t we change the name to something that we have a natural resource,' and that’s the Mojave River. And we have a gorgeous valley and rather than using 'High Desert,' let's change the perception,” Brady contends.
“Some people would say, 'Ew, why would you want to live there?'” Tari Blalock, a local business woman said. Blalock moved from the Silicon Valley because she wanted to live somewhere beautiful and affordable.
“This is a great place to raise your family. We are constantly exploring this gorgeous valley,” Blalock said.
She’s also part of the Mojave River Valley Alliance, working on marketing and promoting the new name on social media using hashtags like #MRVLiving or #MojaveRiverValley.
The Mojave River Valley or MRV— includes the areas Hesperia, Victorville, Adelanto, Apple Valley all the way to Barstow.
“It’s going to give us an opportunity to put us on the map and have an actual location that people can refer to,” Blalock argued.
Brady says name changes can help spur further economic growth in booming regions because it makes it easier to market to prospective businesses.
"You know 40, 45 years ago people wouldn’t talk about the Inland Empire. Sometime you need to change the name. Moreno Valley used to be called Sunnymead,” said Brady.
Brady says right now the alliance is working with several cities to get them to recognize the name change and more people are learning about the rebranding every day.
“It is one of those things that will take some time to adapt to but we are pretty excited about the prospects,” Brady contended.
In October, the Hesperia City Council formally gave their support to the movement by agreeing to use “Mojave River Valley” in place of “High Desert” in city documents, presentations and economic development efforts.
The alliance is also working with the cities of Barstow, Victorville, Adelanto, and the town Apple Valley right now to draft resolutions on the name change.