- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - After a short life, “West Mass” is no more. Long live “Western Mass.”

Tourism and economic development officials in western Massachusetts announced this week that they’ve scrapped efforts to rebrand the “Pioneer Valley” as “West Mass.” They’ll be moving forward with the more familiar “Western Mass” instead.

The decision comes after locals started an online petition to keep the old “Pioneer Valley” moniker, which dates to an early 20th century marketing effort. After the uproar, officials conducted a survey that found people overwhelmingly preferred “Western Mass.”

The “West Mass” brand was developed by an Oklahoma-based firm hired by the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts.

The Pioneer Valley covers Massachusetts communities in the Connecticut River Valley, including Springfield, Amherst, Northampton and Holyoke.

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