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

Interview on KPHO-CBS 5 with Ed Klein about Route 66

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Interview on KPHO-CBS 5 with Ed Klein about Route 66
Jul 302012
 


I had the honor of being interviewed about Route 66 and the preservation work I do on the route.

I was asked to come into the studios of KPHO – CBS 5 Morning News Show here in Phoenix to talk about Route 66 and the preservation effort currently going on.

I met Paul Horton, the host, and the Arizona Governors Conference on Tourism a few weeks ago and he simply said to me after the conference ‘you have to come on our program’. He followed up and came through!

I did not know the questions going in, I did not really know the pictures and video they were going to show, but he updated me a few things which would be discussed before the cameras rolled.

It is the fastest 3 minutes of my life, especially when you are in from of the camera!

The only regret is I did not mention Needles CA by name for the 66 Motel sign and the two gas station currently being restored.

Who knows, maybe I will have another opportunity?? ; )

Click HERE to watch the video.

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!

On the road back to Needles CA…

 Arizona, California, Daily  Comments Off on On the road back to Needles CA…
Apr 202012
 



Phase 2 begins on the sign!

On our trip from Holbrook to Needles (I say OUR because I am traveling with Rich Talley, Motel Safari – Tucumcari fame). We decided to hit a few places on the way to Needles.

Now, on the way BACK to Flagstaff, we will be driving most of the route to stop at a bunch of places….

Until then, here are a few places we stopped at:

We met at the Globetrotter Motel and headed out to Flagstaff.
In Flagstaff, it was MANDATORY we stop at the Mother Road Brewering Company.

This is a new business on Route 66 and Rich really wanted to stop here, and we are glad we did!
It was 2pm and although they did not open until 3pm, they let us in and gave us a tour, and even better, a sampling of beer!

These folks are passionate about what they do and I feel they will be a great addition to Route 66. They are distributing in Arizona, but are looking for distributors all along the route.

After buying a 6 pack, we headed out.




























We then headed out to Kingman and decided to stop and eat at Mr. D’s. I had about 8 glasses of their Root Beer and a burger. I was not disappointed.
















We will spend all day getting the sign looking like it should and I will post the updates as well as our trip back to Flagstaff.

It begins! The fundraiser for the restoration of the 66 Motel sign!

 California, Daily  Comments Off on It begins! The fundraiser for the restoration of the 66 Motel sign!
Mar 292012
 







IndieGogo Fundraiser to relight the 66 Motel sign in Needles CA.

Here is your chance to help restore and get the 66 Motel sign lit up again after 15 years of being off!
Every dollar counts! Share this with EVERYONE you know to get the word out to save this iconic historic sign!

We have several folks and businesses along the route who have donated items to donors – so not only do you get the gift of satisfaction for helping such a worthwhile cause – you also GET something from the route!

The painting work has been started and this will be for the neon, transformers, electrical , and installation.
I cannot thank you enough for the help!

Click HERE for more information on how to donate.

Ed Klein
Route 66 World

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

 Daily  Comments Off on ‘On the Tenth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’
Dec 212011
 



The ‘saviours’of the Mother Road…


You truly cannot be part of Route 66 unless you are part of one of these. They are the backbone of keeping the route alive!

The many different associations of Route 66 make sure the route is not only preserved, they make sure ‘travelers’ are informed, updated, and even entertained.

The list below shows all of the state associations and their website links and Facebook links (if they have one):

Route 66 Association of Illinois
To me, they are the ‘leaders’ on how things should be done on, and for, the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Missouri
The folks in Missouri are also on top of their game with preservation and information on the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Kansas
Kansas has made a strong running in 2011 with the route – and I feel 2012 will be even better!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Oklahoma
Oklahoma has done a good job in 2011 working on the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Texas
I don’t know about this one – so if you think I have the wrong guys (the page was updated 2002!) let me know!
Click HERE for their website.

Route 66 Association of New Mexico
Brand new website full of information and ‘what’s happenings’ on the route in New Mexico!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Arizona
My ‘new home state’ – and sadly – they will have to get up to date on their website and preservation efforts…
Click HERE for their website.

Route 66 Association of California
Although recenlty updated, another association which needs to get caught up with the times.
Click HERE for their website.

While some associations do better than others – it is also because of the fact the ones which seem to do better (nice active website, Facebook page, activities for travelers) actually DO MORE for the route – in my opinion.

But this is the thing: If we do not support the individual states, then the resources start disappearing, which means the route starts suffering. And with such a tidal wave of interest in the route, the numerous blogs, posts, stories, pictures and most importantly, the travelers – we need to do what we can, not matter WHERE you are, you can help!

I, myself, am a member of 5 of the 8 – and a business member at that! I have to pay a little more but it is worth it. I joined an association every month or two to keep my renewal costs spread out (hint!)

Pick one, any one, whether you live in the state the route runs through, or live in a state which the route DOES NOT run through, or even in a different country – you can help…

What a great Christmas gift a membership would be!!

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

 Daily  Comments Off on ‘On the Eighth day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’
Dec 192011
 



The ‘party’ of the year for Route 66


If you are gonna throw a party, might as well make it a big one! And if you decide to throw it in Texas, you better make it an international party! It doesn’t get any bigger than that!

The 2011 International Route 66 Festival was held on June 9th through 12th in Amarillo Texas. And by all accounts – it was a HUGE success!

The different days had different events – from banquets, to concerts, to car shows, to food, to food, to food (wait, did I say food?!?!) to award ceremonies, to booths, to just plain old fashion fun.

Now, we are going to do a little something different on this day of Christmas. Not only am I going to show the ‘old’ – but I will include the ‘new’.

For the old – click HERE to visit the 2011 website to see all that happened on the weekend of the festival.
For the new – click HERE to get information on the 2012 International Festival in Victorville CA.

We have already planned on spending a few days at the event – so look me up and say ‘hey’ when you see me!

13 Miles of Route 66 in Kansas now is ‘Historic Byway’

 Daily, Kansas  Comments Off on 13 Miles of Route 66 in Kansas now is ‘Historic Byway’
Nov 302011
 




Note: When I talked to a few folks in Kansas who are involved with the route a few months ago – they mentioned this was one of the things they were really focusing their efforts on… and it seemed to pay off!! Congrats on this! It takes the route through Kansas to a whole new level!

The state has designated 13 miles of Route 66 in southern Kansas as a Kansas Historic Byway.

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced the designation Tuesday for the route, which runs through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs in Cherokee County before reaching the Oklahoma border.

Scott Shields, a coordinator for the Kansas State Byways program, says the designation encourages visitors and state residents to drive the route and explore communities along the way.

The original Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles and was a major pathway for those who migrated west and later for tourists.

Historic Route 66 passes briefly through the State of Kansas on its was between Joplin, Missouri and Miami, Oklahoma. Though Kansas has the shortest stretch of the popular old route between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, the 13 miles of Route 66 in Kansas are among the best preserved and have many attractions.

©2011 The Republic