Proponents of a ballot measure to change the name of Detroit, Ore., say they want to separate the tourist town's image from the Michigan city.
Doug DeGeorge, a builder and major proponent of the measure who worked to put it on Tuesday's ballot, said the word "Detroit" carries a negative connotation that could be partially counteracted by changing the town's name to Detroit Lake, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.
"I bought the old Detroit Lake Motel, and we turned it into a beautiful lodge," DeGeorge said. "When people asked me what project I was working on, I'd tell them I was building a lodge in Detroit. When I said, 'Detroit,' everyone would scrunch up their noses and furrow their brows."
"I mean, no offense to the people of Detroit (Michigan)," he said. "It's a big city, and it's been around forever. We're just a beautiful city in the heart of the mountains, so by adding the name 'Lake' to it, you let people know what it's all about."
Detroit City Councilman Gary Brown said the Oregon city would be making a mistake by changing the name.
"Everybody has the right to change their name," Brown said. "But we're going to be the great Detroit that we once were. In the future, they'll be sorry they did that."