Two new websites for Route 66 in New Mexico

 New Mexico  Comments Off on Two new websites for Route 66 in New Mexico
Oct 292012
 



If you haven’t checked them out yet – there are two new website to start adding to your collection of Route 66 favorites!

The first one is for the New Mexico Route 66 Museum in Tucumcari NM. After a long time planning, the new museum has found a home in Tucumcari and they are actively putting all the pieces together to get it opened for the next travel season so tourists can stop in and enjoy.

If you have been to Tucumcari or if you have seen the numerous projects which have taken place over the years, you know this town will do an ‘A-1’ job on having the best museum the state could possibly have.






The second one is Wheels on 66. Wheels on 66 is an annual festival which brings out different musical groups, car shows and anything else to highlight Tucumcari’s role on the route.

This year is a 4 day event and will the majority of events will take place at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
This year’s events even include monster trucks!

Check out these websites and make sure you check them often and information will be updated often.

New Mexico Route 66 Museum

Wheels on 66

Gas station restoration on Route 66 in Tucumcari NM

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Gas station restoration on Route 66 in Tucumcari NM
Sep 152012
 






The tenth (and final gas station of the year) was just completely repainted and cleaned up with the help of volunteers as Tucumcari continues with their plan to make their town a true destination for travelers on Route 66.

The group started at 8am and worked all day until the building was painted and all the trim was completed. A special thanks to the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce for their funding assistance…






























































































Throught the next week – Doug Quarles of Quarles Art Gallery will do what he does best – start with the many murals and artwork on the building to complete the restoration.

This gas station is located right nexct door to Junior Garza’s gas station we painted last year. Click HERE to see that video.

New owners of the Redwood Lodge – Tucumcari NM

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on New owners of the Redwood Lodge – Tucumcari NM
Sep 022012
 


There are new owners of the old Redwood Lodge by the Tucumcari Convention Center, they’ve been completely remodeling the place for student housing, and I have been told the place looks great.

They gave the place a nice new paint job, all new doors, new a/c, with work done to the exterior and the interior. All 24 rooms will receive a makeover. The units will be fully furnished, utilities and Wi-Fi will be included.

The story is this is a retired family out of Santa Fe NM, who during this economy couldn’t get satisfactory returns on investments with stocks, CD’s and the likes, decided to invest in some real estate rehab projects. Rumor has it they might be interested in buying the Historic Odeon Theatre in Tucumcari, which is on the National Historic Register and for sale by its long time owner, who simply wishes to retire.

They are planning on reopening the Redwood Lodge as student housing for the students who are (or are planning to attend) Mesalands Community College.

It’s a nice change seeing most older motels are being converted to monthly rentals and start slowly deteriorating to the point where they are no longer inhabitable.

Click HERE for their website.

Commissioners approve Route 66 museum in NM

 New Mexico  Comments Off on Commissioners approve Route 66 museum in NM
Aug 292012
 




 

A local committee received approval from the Tucumcari City Commission to convert portions of the Tucumcari Convention Center into the New Mexico Route 66 Museum.

Frost said having a Route 66 museum would be a great asset for the community, and could help the city further take advantage of tourism dollars.

Frost said the museum could even be added to a proposal submitted to the New Mexico Racing Commission for a racetrack and casino. He said it would show the commission there is a greater plan in mind.

Frost said Don Chalmers and Coronado Partners, LLC., are on board with housing the museum at the race track and casino grounds. He said they offered to provide a 10,000-square-foot building at no cost.

Frost said Chalmers stressed to the group that he and the partners needed to see that the community showed an actual desire and commitment to this project — and not just a bare-bones museum with a few classic cars.

Frost said the immediate goal is to open a interim museum in the Fort Bascom and San Jon rooms at the Tucumcari Convention Center. He said the two rooms would serve as the museum and gift shop.

Commissioner Dora Salinas-McTigue asked if the committee would cover renovation costs for the two rooms, and was told that would be the case. Commissioner Jimmy Sandoval said the commission should receive progress reports.

Frost said the committee wants to pursue this project, though they do not want to step on anyone’s toes. He said the city would receive 10 percent of the net proceeds from admission and gift shop sales, and the museum board would be formed with representatives from both the city and county.

Frost said he also contacted the Tucumcari Rattler Alumni Association to clear the use of the two rooms. He said the Rattler Reunion has used those rooms in the past for their reunions and the committee wanted make sure they had their approval before they proceeded.

Frost said if approved by the commission the museum would also be used as a project for the University of New Mexico’s school of management. He said Vicky Watson, director of Mesalands Small Business Administration, would use the college’s partnership with UNM to bring students in to work on the business plan and make sure the museum is going in the right direction.

The commission approved the use of the convention center and will draw up a lease agreement outlining the cost for the use of the building.

By Thomas Garcia: QCS senior writer

‘On the Second day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on ‘On the Second day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’
Dec 122011
 



The new owners’ of the Blue Swallow Motel…


This has to be one of the ‘most fun’ stories of the year! I was fortunate to meet Kevin and Nancy TWO DAYS before they were to officially take over ownership of the Historic Blue Swallow motel.

Imagine packing up everything you own and filling (what you can – or what is really important to you, and add two large dogs!) – into a SUV with a trailer hitched on the back, pull out of your driveway in Michigan, head south to Tucumcari with numerous stops on the route to visit folks and take notes, and you have Kevin and Nancy!

We were on our last day of doing preservation work at the Phillips 66 gas station in Tucumcari when we were heading back to Motel Safari for the night. I noticed the neon was lit for the Blue Swallow – and like ANYONE with a camera – we ran across the street to take some pictures. The (good old) former owner Bill came running out, and we thought he was in the process of shooing us of his property! Low and behold, he asked my wife if we wanted to meet the ‘new owners’, and of course we said yes!

Even though they were on the ‘down low’ from officially owning the motel – they were more than happy to swap stories, tell of their several trips on the route, what made them decide to buy the motel, and most importantly, what they were going to DO to it! This was a big ‘hush hush’ at the time, but Kevin has more than generously uploaded so many pictures of not only the visitors who stop in, but the progress he is making, as he told me, ‘to bring it back how it used to be in the 40’s and 50’s’.

The thing I love about Tucumcari is: They take care of their own. Instead of being seen as the competition (and being THE iconic motel in Tucumcari) – several other motels have formed a ‘triangle’ of sorts – helping each other out, talking about ideas, planning events, and working together to give ALL travelers a reason to come back again and again. I can say with all the work which is happening in Tucumcari – it is now a ‘DESTINATION STOP’, versus a ‘visit or a quick pic’ type of place.

I keep posting on the Blue Swallow Facebook page that Kevin makes it look like owning a historic motel – well, FUN!

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place ’cause everytime we go to Tucumcari, we stay at the Motel Safari. Rich and Gail have been better to us than family! And we are greatful for that. NOW, I do know you CANNOT lose staying at either place. And thankfully they are right across the street from each other – so if one is booked up for the night, the other is literally a ‘stones throw’ away!

If you have not visited the Blue Swallow website (how dare you!) click HERE, or visit them on their Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Updated Phillips 66 gas station – Tucumcari NM

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Updated Phillips 66 gas station – Tucumcari NM
Sep 122011
 



Rich Talley (Motel Safari fame!) sent me a few new pictures of what the Phillips 66 gas station on Route 66 in Tucumcari NM now looks like.

The owner (Junior) told me while we were working he wanted ‘to have a place to hang out with friends, family, and travelers who were driving Route 66′ and get it looking like it should – instead of the old run down place we saw when I first showed up – and I think he did a FANTASTIC job bringing his vision to life!

Junior rotates one or two classic cars in and out of the property so what you might see this week – might look differenet next week!









Please make sure you stop buy – check the place out – and say ‘HEY!’ if he is around…. I am sure he would really appreciate it!

For the video of us doing most of the restoration work – click HERE to watch it!

Phillips 66 Restoration – Tucumcari NM

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Phillips 66 Restoration – Tucumcari NM
Sep 072011
 



A ‘quick’ video thrown together of us doing restoration / painting work at the old Phillips 66 Gas Station in Tucumcari NM – right on Route 66!

It was HOT!! I cannot tell you after 8 plus hours in the sun – one wants to simply give up and call it a day – but most of us stuck around to get as much done as possible.

There are gas pumps now at the site (which I do not have video of) so next time you are in Tucumcari, stop by and check out the ‘handy work’ of the locals, business owners, and guys like me who drove 10 hours to ‘lend a helping hand’.

Click HERE to see the video.

Motel demolition signals Route 66 makeover mission

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Motel demolition signals Route 66 makeover mission
Aug 042011
 



Albuquerque’s Mayor and the Safe City Strike Force are on a mission to make over historic Route 66.

The city demolished the abandoned State Fair Mercado Motel and Apartment building on Central Avenue near Louisiana.

Mayor Richard Berry said he hopes tearing down the long-time eyesore will make way for a new, thriving business.

It’s not the first, or the last, on a long list of dilapidated buildings the city wants to get rid of as part of its revitalization of historic Route 66.

The Silver Moon Lodge was demolished two weeks ago.

The owner says he plans to build a grocery story, about 20 apartments and a retail space in its place.

“I think Central Avenue is just one of these really special places, and it’s good to see these problem properties coming down and get some new development going on on this great stretch of road,” said Mayor Berry.

The demolition is expected to take three days and cost the city $32,800.

………………

My take on all of this… I am getting MORE AND MORE disgusted with Albuquerque – to the point of I pretty much can bypass it using I-40.. This is TRULY an oxymoron when the mayor says “it’s good to see these (problem) properties coming down and get some new development going on on this great stretch of road” – and at the same time calling the road ‘historic’ and using ‘new development / buildings’ in the same sentence.

I think Albququerque feels it does not need to keep the history or even care about the dollars tourists bring into the town who travel Route 66 who WANT TO SEE the historic (problem) buildings…. just keep slapping together another Walgreens / CVS or a strip mall which will sit mostly vacant…

It really bothers me the more and more I read about Albuquerque….. it realy does – shame on you Mayor Berry.

Restoration pics – Phillips 66 gas station – Tucumcari NM on Route 66

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Restoration pics – Phillips 66 gas station – Tucumcari NM on Route 66
Jun 292011
 



We left Scottsdale at 6 pm (PST) and started to drive – a LONG drive all night until 6am (MST) when we pulled up to the Motel Safari! Rich Talley – owner of the Motel Safari – had to go to California to meet with some business owners – and while he ‘missed’ the heat – I think we did a pretty good job getting this completed!







The project was a Phillips 66 gas station. I spent about 7 of the 8 hours on the ladder… the legs were sore when I finally climbed off of it!







Mural work done by the legendary Doug Quarles! Doug has been a mountain of ideas and work behind bringing Tucumcari back to a ‘must see’ stop while traveling the route!







Bob and Tom (local business owners – project managers / volunteers – GREAT guys) cooling off in the shade for a bit. It was around 104 degrees – not a cloud in the sky – HOT! Bob was the project manager and Tom somehow spent WAY TOO much time on the scolding hot roof painting the overhangs – my hat goes off to him!







Junior is the owner of the gas station – here he is posing with his ‘Phillips 66 truck’ which will be parked on in front of the property to match the decor. He has a collection of old restored cars he will ‘rotate’ a car out every other weekend so there is a fresh ‘photo op’ for travelers.







Juliana and Doug posing in front of the finished ‘mural’. We toured the town looking at some of the murals he had already painted – quite impressive!






We painted for about 8 hours straight with very few stops. Dehydration set in as well as sunburn, doughnut cramps (not always a bad thing!) and a lot of laughter and hard work!

There was MUCH more work done than the pictures show – it is hard to run around and snap photos when everyone has a paint brush in their hand!

A local reporter came out to take pics and get some information for a story for the local newspaper – he will email me the article which I will put up as well.

I have seen video of the gas station a day after we left and when the gas pumps get installed and all the little details are finished – I will post an updated picture.

Even thought we drove for a total of 23 hours to and from to help paint – I would do it again!

Tucumcari is a town rewriting the rules on how these smaller towns on Route 66 should embrace the route and the travelers and visitors.

Tucumcari will always be a destination on all of my future trips….

Our (partial) Route 66 trip – Day 4

 Daily, New Mexico, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Our (partial) Route 66 trip – Day 4
Jun 272011
 



OK – back to the ‘trip’ – we just came back from another trip to Tucumcari – and I did not have time to post.









Came into Tucumcari NM and headed straight to the Motel Safari to meet up with Rich and Gail Talley.









The Three ‘not so’ wise men! – Rich took us over to his buddy Dan’s place where we looked at a lot of old antique cars. Dan is a good man! Glad to have met him!









Rich with Juliana in front of one of Dan’s many classic cars….









Me with the ‘movers and shakers’ of Tucumcari – these folks are getting thing accomplished all throughtout town – and I am now honored to call them my friends! We talked a good part of the night about Route 66 and what has been done and what needs to be done to preserve and grow it.





The next morning, we headed out of town and pretty much went straight to Scottsdale, except to stop at the Continental Divide shop to get ice cream and water….






Overall – it was a quick, productive, and well received trip. As I said earlier in this post – we just came back from Tucumcari (10 hour drive ONE way BTW) and I will post restoration pics tomorrow….