Bob Hope Airport officials voted 8 to 1 on Monday to change the airfield's branding name to Hollywood Burbank Airport in an effort to increase recognition with passengers outside of Southern California, especially those east of the Colorado Rockies.
The airfield has been named after the famous comedian since 2003.
"Bob Hope isn't doing it," Commissioner Don Brown said. "The name of the airport — Bob Hope — is just not. We've been told by our travel agencies here and been told by the airlines that we've got to do something, and the name Bob Hope just doesn't identify with this airport."
Although the airfield will take on a new branding name, its legal name will remain Bob Hope Airport.
The authority contracted with South Pasadena-based branding firm Anyone Collective to come up with the name and to implement the marketing of the airfield's new identity to the masses.
"We're happy the commission made a decision to move forward, and we're happy to get ready to rebrand and market this airport," said Michael Fiore, co-founder of Anyone Collective. "Step One is brand development and logo identity. We've already done a lot of work on how we're going to create awareness for the airport.… We'll work diligently to make a difference."
Authority commissioners agreed that the airport needed a geographical identifier to attract more passengers to fly into the local airfield instead other airports in Southern California.
However, Commissioner Steve Madison did not agree with adding Hollywood to the branding name because he said passengers would not know where Hollywood is and that having Los Angeles in the name would attract the most number of passengers.
"The problem this is all trying to solve is that many people in the country and beyond don't know that Burbank is so [close] to L.A.," he said. "If we want to cure that, adding a name like Hollywood is just going to be more confusing. I think we have to bite the bullet and use Los Angeles and Burbank to get people to see how close we are [to each other]."
Many Burbank residents, including Brown, have said that they do not want to see Los Angeles in the airport's name.
"Los Angeles does not belong in Burbank," Brown said, adding that his experience working with L.A. officials has been less than satisfactory.
"I've been here too long to all of a sudden put the name Los Angeles with Burbank," Brown said. "We have our own water and power, and we don't have to rely on Los Angeles for that. We have our own airport and we don't have to rely on Los Angeles for that. I don't think we need Los Angeles."
Brown added that he understands that the name Los Angeles draws people to the region, but "the Los Angeles name doesn't have to be branded all over Southern California to find out a location."
Anthony Clark Carpio writes for Times Community News.