How Do You Name
a High-End Property?
© Steve Rivkin 1988
What do "Miraval" and "Bellagio" have in common?
They're both names of luxury resorts that took a foreign route to finding their names.
Miraval is an elegant physical and spiritual fitness spa north of Tucson. Its name is a Spanish fusion word that means "view of the valley" -- from mirar and valle. On site, the resort even uses the name as a metaphor for self-discovery -- a view of one's own valleys.
On the bustling Las Vegas strip, Steve Wynn, the brash impresario of Mirage Resorts, had another view in mind when he named his soon-to-open resort Bellagio.
This grandiose $1.4 billion property ups the ante on upscale. Modeled after its famous namesake on Lake Como in Italy, the 3,000-room hotel will have a 12-acre lake with a choreographed show of fountains, light and music. Bellagio means "beautiful lake" in Italian.
The Miraval and Bellagio names actually mimic history. The most common basis for city names around the globe has been a geographic feature or location. Some examples:
• Hong Kong is Chinese for "fragrant harbor."
• Buenos Aires is Spanish for "favorable breezes."
• Kuala Lumpur is Malay for "where the muddy rivers join."
• Florence comes from the Latin for "flowering place."
• Brussels is Celtic for "marshy dwelling."
STEVE RIVKIN President, Rivkin & Associates, Inc; Editor, The Naming Newsletter, a quarterly report on the strategies and tactics of naming. Steve is a much sought-after speaker and has provided naming counsel and training workshops for such clients as Ameritech, BlueCross BlueShield, First Data Corp., Kraft Foods, Monsanto, Nynex, Outboard Marine Corp., Pharmaco, Sierra Instruments and Wendy's. Training workshop details, contact RAYMA Management Consultants Wendy Song at tel: (03) 7044-666, fax: (03) 7044-484 or e-mail: email@example.com