For Sale – Historic Carty’s Camp on Route 66 in Needles CA

 California, Daily  Comments Off on For Sale – Historic Carty’s Camp on Route 66 in Needles CA
Sep 042012

The historic Carty’s Camp Shell gas station is for sale in Needles CA. The station was built around 1925 and pretty much most of the existing structure is still there and intact. There are a few additions which were put on over it’s earlier years to house the owner and their family back in the day.

The station has been modified with a new overhang and taller upright which held the big gas sign when it was open.

This was the building which brought me into Needles. It was a call from Linda Fitzpatrick who asked for some help / ideas on how to get this station back to it’s former glory. Linda has been the biggest cheerleader behind the restoration of the gas station, but the only ‘hurdle‘ has been it’s current owner. If a new owner can be found, the support behind any preservation efforts would be bigger than you know.

There is a ‘rush’ to find a buyer as the town is having problems with the owner. He does not want to do anything with the building, but there are so many folks who see the potential.

You can contact Linda by Emailing her at as she is a real estate broker and has all the information on the property.

This would be a GREAT little tourist stop along the route as Needles really is the ‘first town of the last state’ on Route 66. It is also RIGHT next to the 66 Motel sign which someone just restored (can’t think of the guy’s name right now!!) which, as we know, has thousands of folks stop and take pictures of.

Also, it is located within miles of both Laughlin and Bullhead City, which both have millions of visitors a year.

If you ever wanted to own a piece of Route 66 history – this might be your time!

Get Your (RV) Kicks on Route 66!

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Sep 012012

This article was written for RV Life Magazine. We think of driving the route in either a car, motorcycle, or even groups on a tour bus, but the RV community makes up a good portion of Route 66 travelers…

Route 66 (aka The Mother Road) helped shape the history of America. Commissioned in 1926, it was the first highway to link Chicago to Los Angeles crossing eight states along it’s path. Route 66 became America’s highway and the ultimate road trip.

Sadly it is no longer necessary for cross-country travel and has been replaced by interstates with no stoplights and no special places, just a way to cover ground in a hurry. But as the movie Cars taught us; the real joy of traveling is to slow down, take the road less traveled and enjoy those special places (think Radiator Springs).

Cinematographer John Holod’s newest RV Adventure video captures the essence of the Route 66 experience in the soon to be releasedRoute 66 RV Adventure: Exploring the Mother Road”. As John points out, Route 66 is special, it crosses the rivers, plains, mountains and deserts of eight states. Come along for the over 2,000 mile ride as we explore it’s drive-inns, gas stations, museums, kitschy roadside attractions and most importantly, it’s people.”

Americana at it’s finest! Today, visitors come from all over the globe to travel what some call the most magical road in the world.” The video is scheduled for release September of this year, but you can catch a sneak peak by clicking HERE! Anything that contains the words “RV” and “adventure” is for me. Looking forward to the video and traveling more of Route 66 during future RVing adventures!

Grant May Help Preserve Allure of Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Grant May Help Preserve Allure of Route 66
Aug 312012

This article is from the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT and is one of many programs helping preserve and keeping Route 66 alive. The goal is to get ALL stretches of Route 66 in all eight states under this program!

Route 66 is America’s Mother Road. . . and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s $152,300 grant recently awarded to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) will fund the preparation of a corridor management plan (CMP) that ultimately may help preserve the history and nostalgia of the 153 miles of historic Route 66 within the BLM California Desert District that extends from Needles to Barstow, California.

Designated a national highway in 1926, U.S. Route 66 extends 2,448 miles across 8 states and 3 time zones from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, California. The “Mother Road” essentially consists of connecting many existing roads, with some new road construction to complete a continuous route. The road was immortalized by Bobby Troupe’s song “Get Your Kicks On Route 66.

Upon completion of the CMP, the BLM will submit a nomination to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation for consideration to designate the California segment of Route 66 a National Scenic Byway. Currently portions of Route 66 in Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oklahoma have National Scenic Byway designation. The BLM worked closely with the California Historic Route 66 Association and California Preservation Foundation to develop the grant proposal.

The CMP also will provide travel information to domestic and international visitors about the intrinsic values of the history, culture, and natural landscapes, as well as recreational opportunities available along the corridor. The CMP will include a comprehensive interpretive, tourism and marketing strategy to enhance heritage tourism opportunities in an effort to promote and provide economic benefits to communities and local businesses.

“We have an incredible opportunity to work with stakeholders and communities along Route 66 to preserve and promote the history California’s portion of Route 66,” said Jim Kenna, BLM California State Director. “We want to inspire new generations of explorers who will revive the nostalgia and adventures of bygone days as they experience, learn about and care for our beloved Mother Road.”

The BLM will oversee preparation of the CMP and solicit extensive participation from local, county, state and federal stakeholders and partners to collaborate in the development of the CMP, including six Native American Tribes. NSBP funding supports projects that manage and protect these roads and improve visitor facilities. The California Legislature designated California Route 66 as “Historic Highway Route 66″ by statute in 1991.

For more information regarding the grant or the preparation of the Corridor Management Plan contact Danella George at (760) 808-5877.

Route 66 Rendezvous isn’t going anywhere

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Aug 262012


I find the article interesting only because while they are stating the rendezvous WILL take place – BUT they are still asking for donations. Also, I feel if this years event fails – it might be the last time this takes place….

The 23rd Annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is taking place in downtown San Bernardino from Sept. 13-16. That is a fact. And, in an effort to provide some background information and clear up any misconceptions, here are more facts regarding the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Route 66 Rendezvous.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is solely owned and operated by the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau, a non-profit 501c(6) corporation, with major support from our partnerships with the city of San Bernardino, the county of San Bernardino and our event sponsors, particularly our title sponsor, Stater Bros. Markets. The first Rendezvous was held in 1990 in Devore with the collaboration from the Over the Hill Gang. The event has grown each year and now attracts over 500,000 spectators during the four-day extravaganza.

Established in 1989, the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau’s main mission is to serve as the marketing arm of the city by promoting travel and tourism opportunities.

Initial funding for the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau was provided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of San Bernardino, whereby the SBCVB would receive 20 percent of the TLT (Transient Lodging Tax) collected by the city. As the economy became depressed, over the years that percentage has decreased and for the past three years the majority of our funding came through the Economic Development Agency.

In order to produce the annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous all of the funds received from our sponsors, vendors, and car participants are used to pay the costs of the event, with an annual shortfall covered by the SBCVB. With the elimination of the Economic Development Agency and the subsequent loss of funding, coupled with the city’s current fiscal situation, there are no longer any funds available to subsidize any future losses on the Rendezvous.

While the 2012 Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous will take place in downtown San Bernardino this September, we are asking for the support of local businesses and individuals to help us cover the loss of funding and in-kind support from the city, as well as to help us continue to move forward in planning for next year’s Rendezvous.

Donations made will be allocated exclusively for the operational expenses of keeping the Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.

Donations can be made on the website by clicking on the different dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making the donor a “Friend of the Rendezvous” as bronze, silver, gold, super or ultimate cruiser. There is also an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401.

Or, businesses can become “Business Friends of the Rendezvous.” For a $2,500 or $1,500 donation, businesses will receive a large banner to display at their business, hundreds of billboard images on the large electronic sign on the 10 Freeway near the 215 Freeway junction and the San Manuel electronic billboard on the 215 Freeway near the Second Street exit.

Wayne Austin is president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and wrote this article.

Route 66 Rendezvous in jeopardy without funds; organizers call on public’s help

 California  Comments Off on Route 66 Rendezvous in jeopardy without funds; organizers call on public’s help
Aug 172012

SAN BERNARDINO – Without $36,000 in donations from the community, there will be no Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous this year, the event’s producer said Thursday, citing the city’s bankruptcy as the reason for the shortfall threatening the city’s signature event.

Wayne Austin, president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau – producers of the Rendezvous – said that organizers have raised $34,000 of $70,000 needed to put on the 22-year-old event. But another $36,000 is needed to make up the difference the Rendezvous would normally get from the city.

That has Austin seeking help from the community.

“Due to the bankruptcy of San Bernardino, we need your help,” Austin said, adding that he is expecting people to step up and help out.

“It is important to keep this major event within the city of San Bernardino, and we are asking business owners, city and county officials and the public to invest in this classic car show. We value your support.”

The annual Rendezvous, set this year for Sept. 13 through 16 in downtown, attracts about 500,000 spectators, where cars are the stars, along with music, entertainment, sponsor displays, legendary guests, contests and commercial exhibitors. It brings about $40 million to the city.

Typically, the Rendezvous is paid for by car participants, sponsors and vendors.
Total costs for the four-day car show extravaganza range between $520,000 and $550,000, according to Austin.

Of that, in year’s past, the city’s share has been $140,000 in in-kind services such as security, trash collection and traffic control.

But because of the city’s filing for bankruptcy, the city was restricted by what it could provide.

“We simply had no capacity to help any more, given our budget and the bankruptcy,” Mayor Pat Morris said.

That left the producer with the bill for the free event, including the costs of tents, insurance, electrical, private security and special events staff expenses.

“This year, they can only provide $70,000 in in-kind services and then send me a bill,” Austin said.

Still, Morris and others say they’re confident the money would come from a community that loves the event.

“We did put the cry out for donations, and already people are responding,” Morris said. “We will produce a wonderul Rendezvous.”

Austin, too, was seeing a response.

“I am feeling a lot of love so far,” Austin said.

Morris said the event comes at a time when the city deperately needs a celebration – the city filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 1.

“We’ll take a moment out, have a good time for a few days. This is a boon for our city,” Morris said.

Jack Brown, chairman and CEO of San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. Markets, touted the value of the event, which his company has sponsored for 15 years.

“Hopefully, this Rendezvous will bring a revival to downtown San Bernardino,” Brown said. “We invest more than $600,000 in the Rendezvous as title sponsor and have more than 300 of our people as volunteers – vendors and suppliers. This is a very important financial commitment for the car owners, as well,” Brown said.

Brown said making the event happen is pivotal at a time when the city is suffering.

“I think this terrific community will step in to help in this time of financial crisis for the city,” Brown said. “Our benefit comes from having a really nice weekend for people – that’s why I always insist it be free admission.”

Austin said he is working with the city, and police will still be there, but the visitors bureau is paying for it.

Austin is putting a promotional package together for area businesses and looking at $1,500 and $2,500 levels as Business Friends of the Rendezvous.

The package would provide a 5-foot-by-10-foot banner that busnesses can hang inside or outside their building. At the $2,500 level, the banner package also offers select spots for “thank you’s” acknowledging businesses that are Friends of the Rendezvous.

Denny Shorett, president and CEO of Crown Printers – which is providing the banners – said he is glad to help the Rendezvous.

“We’re pleased that in spite of the troubles San Bernardino is having, the Rendezvous will go on. It will be good for businesses to come forward and show their support,” Shorett said.

Donations can be made through the Rendezvous website, by clicking on the dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making you a Friend of the Rendezvous as Bronze, Silver, Gold, Super or Ultimate Cruiser.

Tony Canul, owner of Molly’s Cafe in downtown San Bernardino, on Wednesday presented Austin with a check for $1,200 to keep the Rendezvous in the city’s downtown streets.

“All the money we receive in donations will be used to replace what we no longer will get from the city,” Austin said. “That is the reality.”

There has been an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401. Checks are payable to “Friends of the Rendezvous.”

Michel Nolan, The (San Bernardino County) Sun

Route 66 festival gets disappointing attendance

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Route 66 festival gets disappointing attendance
Aug 162012

We were there most of the weekend EXCEPT for Saturday as we took a drive out to Santa Monica (via Route 66 of course) – but the attendance on Friday was very low…

VICTORVILLE • The Route 66 International Festival 2012 attracted a little more than 5,000 people during this past weekend, disappointing organizers and businesses who expected a much bigger turnout.

Some of them blamed the above-100-degree heat for low attendance, while others criticized a lack of organization and marketing.

The festival attracted about 800 paid visitors Friday and 4,000 on Saturday at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, where a gourmet food-truck show, a classic car show, live entertainment and military vehicle exhibits took place, according to Vince Sapina, the festival’s media and PR chair. About 350 people attended a mixer and tours in Barstow on Thursday.

After the Daily Press ran an article in April stating that Sapina’s co-chair estimated 6,500 visitors and 40 vendors, Sapina asked for a correction saying he was expecting 30,000 attendees and 90 vendors.

Marc Melloul, general manager of the Green Tree Inn, which hosted banquets during the weekend, said his hotel saw a 30-percent increase in the number of reservations.

Paul Chassey, a volunteer at the California Route 66 Museum in Old Town, said the museum saw more visitors during the weekend than usual.

“I had a great time,” Chassey said. “I was really impressed by the food trucks.”

But Carmen Andalon, sales and catering manager at the Ambassador Hotel in Victorville, said she didn’t feel any positive impact from the festival despite offering coupons and special rates. She thinks the festival should have been publicized more.

“I was looking forward to this event, to get more business from it,” Andalon said. “I get more revenue from a small wedding in town.”

People involved in the festival gave conflicting accounts as to how Victorville was chosen among other Route 66 California cities to host this event in the middle of August. The festival is held each year in one of eight states the Mother Road runs through.

The festival committee initially announced in December that the Green Tree Inn was chosen to host a classic car show during the festival with food and merchandise vendors. But after going through a few leadership changes, Sapina took over in March.

“Maybe we could have moved it down the hill, but we thought Victorville needed this,” Sapina said. “I think we built a good event. I just think that the heat wave and local demographics made it difficult. I think we did a great job and want to thank all the volunteers.”

The festival hosted the first gourmet food-truck show in the Victor Valley.

Gourmet food trucks are different from traditional food trucks as onboard chefs cook and serve creative dishes such as a lobster corn dog. These trucks have gained popularity in recent years, especially in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

“The expectation was far greater than the turnout,” said Rick Singerman, who owns the Maui Wowi LA smoothie truck.

Maui Wowi was among 15 vendors that attended the festival on Friday when there was hardly any line at each truck. Singerman said he lost money that day driving up from Los Angeles County.

“I don’t know why it was scheduled for Friday and Saturday and not Saturday and Sunday,” Singerman said.

Sapina said he sat down with the vendors Friday night and told them he would cancel additional trucks coming Saturday to avoid competition. Singerman said he returned Saturday and barely made a profit.

Keith Kahn, president of Inland Empire Gourmet Food Trucks, which organized the gourmet food-truck show, said he booked too many trucks based on the organizers’ estimate. The Inland Empire Gourmet Food Trucks offered to refund booking fees for Friday to the gourmet food trucks.

“If we only had 10 trucks on Saturday, we probably would have had 10 happy trucks,” Kahn said.

Daniel Tate helped organize military vehicle exhibits, which he said attracted 2,500 visitors.

“I think what they should have done is work with local nonprofits and they could have made it more attractive to a lot more people. They have a huge following,” Tate said.

Tomoya Shimura, Staff Writer – Victorville Daily Press

New freeway signs placed to indicate Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on New freeway signs placed to indicate Route 66
Jul 262012

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Route 66 is getting some more attention.

Motorists on the 15 Freeway should keep their eyes peeled just past Victoria Gardens for two new signs alerting them to the historic highway.

City workers this week put up the signs on the northbound and southbound sides of the 15 at Foothill Boulevard.

“It’s my intent to again let the people know that this is part of Route 66,” said Edward Dietl, vice president of the California Historic Route 66 Association

Dietl worked with city officials to install the brown signs that read “Historic Route 66, Foothill Boulevard Next Exit.”

“People come down from the 15 (Freeway) from Las Vegas and bypass Foothill Boulevard because they don’t know it’s Route 66 and go to Santa Monica instead,” he said.

“What I’m intending to do is bring the traffic tourism to come down the 15 and see the sign and get off onto Foothill Boulevard. That would bring in a lot of tourism tax dollars to the businesses and follow Route 66 through its termination and get us some local taxes.”

Route 66 was once the preeminent highway of the western United States bringing travelers and migrants to California. The highway originally ran from Illinois to Los Angeles.

Dietl said he started trying to have the signs installed about two years ago. Caltrans informed him that he would need help from the city as well as its approval.

Rancho Cucamonga officials have been working for about a year with state transportation officials to meet the proper requirements to get the signs approved, Councilman Sam Spagnolo said.
“I think it’s going to be a great addition to the city, especially for Foothill Boulevard,” Spagnolo said.

“It was probably 10 years ago that we were able to get the state to relinquish control of the Foothill Boulevard to us so we could have control. Prior to that, it was a state highway, and the state did little to promote Foothill Boulevard and the city of Rancho Cucamonga.”

City improvements have been made to widen Foothill in the western end of the city. Also, work was recently completed on a recreational pedestrian bridge over the highway for the Pacific Electric Trail.

“Going east in San Bernardino County, all the cities are trying to gain control of Foothill Boulevard,” Spagnolo said.

“They’ve seen what we’ve done and want to do the same … You never go wrong when you have local control.

– Neil Nisperos, Staff

The two ‘new faces’ on Route 66 in Needles CA.

 California, Daily  Comments Off on The two ‘new faces’ on Route 66 in Needles CA.
Jul 022012

After a few days of research – the two gas station slated for ‘restoration’ are an old Texaco and an old Union gas station.

My ‘Needles partner in crime’ Linda Fitzpatrick sent me several Emails about her investigative work. We originally thought the gas stations were an old Mobil and Cheveron station, but upon talking to the owners, talking to some folks ‘in the know’ and finding some old pictures, it was determined the Mobil station started it’s life out as a Texaco station, and the Cheveron station originally began pumping Union Oil gas!

With this information, I do what I always do on these types of projects: start hitting the web for information!
After about 3 days and hundreds upon hundreds of websites, I gathered enough information to confirm these were originally Texaco and Union gas station.

Now, we are getting all of our ducks in a row and will really start putting things thogether the weekend of July 20th. The buildings will be painted white, and I will come into town and hit the trim and get all the signs in place.

A muralist is working on something special for these places and even I am excited to see what she will be able to accomplish.

The goal is to have these finished so all travelers heading west to Victorville for the fest have several reasons to stop into Needles. First and foremost: the 66 Motel sign – a MUST see! Then these two gas stations will be brought back from the ‘drab’ and should make for some great photo ops.

We are getting a lot of support and help from several sources on this project. If you are around and/or able, let em knwo if you want to help that weekend as we can always use an extra set of hands!!

The owners are waiting to see the outcome as they even might put orders in for gas pumps and a few other signs to go on and around the buildings.

More restoration work in Needles on Route 66…

 California, Daily  Comments Off on More restoration work in Needles on Route 66…
Jun 282012

Hot off the tail of the restoration of the 66 Motel sign in Needles, another project (or should I say projects) are taking shape…

Not even a week has gone by since the relighting of the historic 66 Motel sign another restoration project is underway.

Having spent a good amount of time in the last year and a half in Needles, one starts looking for things to not only help the travelers who are driving Route 66, but also to try to find ways to help the local economy as well.

The thing which jumped out to me were two small, non-descript gas stations on the west side of town. I have passed these things many, many times as I was in town working on the sign and always wanted to see if something could be done with them.

Well, fast forward to last week and the town has decided to continue with the ‘wave of restorations’ and start planning on working on these two stations. They were very surprised on not only how well the motel sign turned out, but the reactions from local town folk. It is a wise move in my eyes!

The two gas stations will be painted the standard ‘white paint’ they once where painted back in the 40’s and 50’s and signs and other artwork will be added by local volunteers, an artist, and even yours truly. I wanted to be a part of this one, as I have a ‘fondness’ for Needles now!

The owners will also help with the work as well as provide old photos for reference as we will try to recreate them as close to how they used to look like.

If this sounds familiar, look no further than Tucumcari and the work they have done on their stations. To be honest with you, I have been planting this seed for over a year and I feel it was Rich Talley (Motel Safari fame) who pushed it over the edge and convinced them it was ‘the right thing to do for the town, and the tourists’.

I do not expect the stations to look as ‘good’ as in Tucumcari as I know how they work and their ‘secret weapon’ Doug Quareles, but we are going to do a pretty decent job!

The plan is to have both stations completed by the time the Victorville festival starts so folks can not only see the restored sign, they can see the gas stations finished, maybe have lunch at the historic Wagon Wheel Restaurant, and then head ‘west to the fest!’

Relighting ceremony for the 66 Motel sign in Needles on Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Relighting ceremony for the 66 Motel sign in Needles on Route 66
Jun 172012

The Motel 66 neon is ready to be installed!

There will be a lighting ceremony this Saturday, June 23rd at 9pm. It has to be later in the evening because that’s when it gets dark in Needles!

I will be in town late Thursday night working most of the day Friday and Saturday installing the neon, transformers and wiring to complete the restoration of the sign.

We will have a good size crowd that night so if you are traveling Route 66, or even are close to Needles, stop out.

The sign was last lit over 15 years ago so this has been a long time coming.

Thanks again for all of you who have donated and supprted this project!