May 122014
 
wigwam-motel-CA










Kumar Patel grew up along Route 66, a highway long celebrated in literature, song and film. He was not impressed.

On his first long road trip, about six years ago, he found himself bored by the route’s decaying monuments, mom-and-pop diners and dusty museums.

“I hated it,” he said. “But I didn’t understand it.”

The journey to understanding started soon after that trip, when his mother started having health problems. She had been running the family’s Wigwam Motel, a clutch of 20 tepee-shaped rooms on Route 66 in San Bernardino. She could no longer run it alone.

So at 26, Patel took over, giving up a career in accounting to run an aging tourist trap that struggled to cover its costs.

Kumar Patel operates the Wigwam Motel, a clutch of 20 tepee-shaped rooms on Route 66 in San Bernardino. He has become a tireless promoter of the highway’s culture. He sees that as a way to keep the history of Route 66 alive and fill his motel rooms.

Now, as a 32-year-old entrepreneur, he stands out among the typical Route 66 merchants, who promote such roadside curiosities as a Paul Bunyon monument, a blue whale statue and the Petrified Forest National Park. Such sites now are operated and visited mostly by white, middle-aged travelers, whose numbers are dwindling.

Unless Patel and other Route 66 business owners can attract a younger and more diverse crowd, one that matches the evolving demographics of America, the shops and oddball attractions along the route will shut down for good.

“If it doesn’t happen, we are not going to keep all of this alive,” said Kevin Hansel, the caretaker of another struggling Route 66 business, Roy’s Motel and Cafe in Amboy. “It will be history.”

That history started in the 1920s, when the road was built to handle a surge in automobile ownership and a push by business owners to link the small towns and merchants of the Midwest to big cities. Route 66 became the nation’s main east-west artery.

In his novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck called it the “mother road” because it beckoned and delivered the refugees from the Dust Bowl exodus to jobs in California in the 1930s. Bobby Troup penned his biggest hit song, “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” in 1946.

But by the 1950s, the narrow, slow-moving route was replaced in pieces by multilane, interstate freeways, designed for high-speed travel. Federal workers removed the freeway markers and decommissioned Route 66 in 1985, effectively killing business for the jukebox-blasting diners and neon-rimmed motels.

Today, with the future of the Wigwam at stake, Patel has immersed himself in that history, driving Route 66 himself, stopping to chat with his fellow shopkeepers and travelers. He set out on a search for insight into how to promote his business but ended up with a more personal appreciation of the route’s culture.

“That’s what grew on me: The people who shared with me their stories of the road,” he said.

When the Wigwam Motel went on sale in 2003 for nearly $1 million, Patel’s father, an Indian immigrant who ran another small hotel in San Bernardino, saw it as a good investment. It has yet to pay off.

Like many Route 66 businesses, the Wigwam struggles to squeeze out enough money to pay for improvements. It took five years to save up to renovate the pool area. Last year, Patel was finally able to afford a full-time maid for the motel. Before then, Patel and his mother cleaned and changed sheets while selling souvenirs and booking rooms.

“We still run it on a thin line,” he said.

With the Wigwam’s success tied to Route 66, Patel has become a tireless promoter of its culture. He sees that as a way to keep the history of Route 66 alive and fill his motel rooms.

He set out recently on a drive to show off some of its peculiar attractions along California’s stretch of the 2,400-mile highway that runs from Chicago to Santa Monica. He started from a rundown roadside hotel in Needles, in the Mojave Desert near the Arizona border.

Stars twinkled in the darkness. The only sound was the hum of big rigs bouncing off the blacktop. The best way to experience the road, he said, is by driving east to west. It’s the way the Dust Bowl refugees saw it and later Midwesterners, heading for vacations in Los Angeles.

“On Route 66 you find real people, real food,” Patel said.

He rattled off history and trivia as the car zipped past telephone poles on National Trails Highway — the name now given to the portion of Route 66 that runs through much of the Mojave Desert.

A downed palo verde tree about half a mile outside of Amboy is called the “Shoe Tree” because it toppled under the weight of hundreds of shoes tossed on the branches by visitors. It’s a tradition that locals say was started by an arguing couple and continues today.

“The purists love this stuff because they don’t want to see things that are renewed,” Patel said. “They want to see the original stuff.”

Take tiny Amboy (population 17), once a bustling pit stop. Today, the only commerce happens at Roy’s Motel and Cafe. The cafe sells only soft drinks and snacks. The motel is closed because of a lack of water. The drop-off in business no longer makes it practical to ship in water by train. The ground has long been saturated with salt, making well water undrinkable.

Kevin Hansel, the caretaker, dreams of the day someone drills a well deep enough to reach drinkable water.

“Once we get the water, we can open the restaurant and the bungalows,” he said.

As Patel visited, about a dozen Volkswagen vans pulled in under the cafe’s giant boomerang-shaped sign. The VW road warriors were meeting at Roy’s before driving east to Lake Havasu.

Among them was retired welder Joe Stack, 71, of Costa Mesa. He has been taking this road trip for 10 years. When Stack’s daughter was a girl, she rode shotgun in his van.

But she is now 22 and not interested in the retro architecture of Route 66.

“Young kids don’t want to come out here,” he said, squinting in the morning sun. “Young kids are on a computer wearing their thumbs out.”

Route 66 travelers today have a median age of 55 and 97% are white, according to a 2011 study by David Listokin, a Rutgers University economics professor. Only 11% of the travelers on the road are ages 20 to 39, according to the study.

A few months ago, Listokin read the highlights of his study to a group of Route 66 business owners who met at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim to discuss the road’s future. Patel was there — among the few people in the room under age 40.

Patel stood at the front of the brightly colored Magic Kingdom Ballroom, urging his fellow Route 66 merchants to reach out to young travelers, the way he has done.

He hosted hip-hop, end-of-summer festivals at the Wigwam Motel, with DJs and strobe lights. During a recent Christmas, he threw a doughnut party and decorated the tepee-shaped motel rooms to look like Christmas trees. He’s volunteered his motel as a stop for a classic car show to raise money to restore a historic gas station in Rancho Cucamonga.

His work has won him the respect of older Route 66 advocates.

“We absolutely need that kind of thing that he is doing,” said Linda Fitzpatrick, 73, who is leading a campaign to restore the Needles Theater, a 1930s-era Masonic temple that was converted to a movie house.

Back on the road, just outside Barstow, Patel pulled up to an attraction known as “Bottle Tree Ranch.”

The forest of metal trees, adorned with colored bottles, was built by Elmer Long, a 67-year-old retired cement worker who, with his long white beard and floppy hat, looks like a ’49er-era gold prospector.

During the busy summer months, he said, his bottle trees draw as many as 1,000 visitors a day. But most of the visitors are international travelers. Each day, visitors leave Long a few dollars in a tip can.

“To them, the U.S. is a magical place,” he said, as traffic rushes past his ramshackle home.

The sky began to dim as Patel pulled up to the Wigwam Motel. His mother, who still helps Patel with the business, told him that two motel guests — young ones — were finishing a long road trip.

At the door of one of the tepees, Patel introduced himself to Emily Mills, 28, and her sister Anna, 25, from North Carolina. Emily Mills was starting a new job managing a Culver City restaurant. For the move west, the sisters decided on a Route 66 road trip.

They hit all the big stops, including the Cadillac Ranch, west of Amarillo, Texas, where junk Cadillacs have been thrust nose first into the earth. A few miles south of the ranch, the sisters stopped to see the statue of a giant pair of legs, more than 20 feet tall.

The Mills sisters also spent the night in another Wigwam Motel, in Holbrook, Ariz. — one of seven built across the country by architect Frank Redford. Only two Wigwams remain on Route 66.

“We wanted to tell our friends we slept in a wigwam and saw a giant pair of legs,” Emily Mills said as the sun set behind her tepee.

Guests like the Mills sisters are a good sign for the Wigwam, Patel said. Most Route 66 travelers zip through San Bernardino to reach the end of the route in Santa Monica, 78 miles away.

Patel can’t yet say when — or if — the Wigwam will ever become the moneymaker Patel’s father envisioned. But now he’s grown attached to the road, and sees himself as more than just a motel operator. Patel has become a curator of the Route 66 legend, a proud member of its cast of characters.

- By The Los Angeles Times

Jun 012013
 





I do hope they reopen the restaurant (and orange juice stand) one day in the near future as I know EVERYONE will want to stop and get a chance to experience this place….

On a day when Fontana was celebrating its 100th birthday, Joe Bono on Friday did just what his family has done for the last 77 years: He offered his hospitality to tourists traveling on Route 66.
Sitting along the parking lot of Bono’s Old Route 66 restaurant on Foothill Boulevard was something Glen Heitritter and Linda Swenson of Omaha, Neb., had not yet seen on their ride down the Mother Road.

They stopped to take a look at the Big Orange, a 7-foot-high stucco ball from which thirsty travelers could buy glasses of fresh orange juice before the age of the freeway.

After the couple posed for the requisite photo, Bono gave them a tour of his place.

An attorney and former deputy district attorney, Bono grew up at the rear of the property at the corner of Sultana Avenue. A neighbor suggested to his mother in 1936 that she ought to sell juice to travelers along Foothill, which at the time had plenty of vineyards but was short on any places to stop for refreshment.

“It was all you could drink for 10 cents,” he told me in an interview some time ago.

That evolved into an Italian market and ultimately a restaurant. Especially during the Great Depression, Mama Bono would hear lots of hard-luck stories from many weary, and penniless, travelers seeking a new life in California and often fed them for free.

For Heitritter and Swanson, the Big Orange proved the perfect Route 66 distraction.

In their striking red Pontiac GTO — naturally, a 1966 model — they have traveled what remains of Route 66 since picking it up first in Carthage, Mo.

Among the notable experiences they’ve had was spending a night in one of the storied Wigwam Motels — with rooms shaped like teepees — in Holbrook, Ariz. They had passed the Inland Empire’s Wigwam Motel on the western edge of San Bernardino a few moments before pulling into Bono’s parking lot.

Before leaving for the end of the road at Santa Monica Pier that afternoon, they viewed Bono’s restaurant and its array of photographs and mementoes.

On a wall is a picture of young Joe and his father working in the vineyards not far away.

“Everything you see out there was vineyards,” he told the visitors, pointing out the windows toward Foothill.

But now Bono has big plans for his landmark business.

Looking over architect’s drawings, Bono said the restaurant, whose front windows are just a few feet shy of the now-four-lane Foothill Boulevard, will be moved south back from the highway. This will accommodate widening of the street as well as the construction of a huge warehouse planned on the other side of Sultana.

He said he was confident that Bono’s restaurant would reopen in the near future, to accommodate Fontana’s next century and for future travelers seeking the romance and adventure of Route 66.

By Joe Blackstock – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Dec 292012
 





Another in a series of ‘guest articles’ written by folks from all over the world. If you would like to contribute – please send me an Email at info@route66world.com with your article and I just might post it!!

You’re a true road warrior. You don’t let little things like blizzards, freezing temperatures and slick highways keep you away from a cold-weather vacation. You also have a sense of the past and Americana, so taking historic Route 66 is on your itinerary.

Insurance

What also should be on your itinerary— getting insurance. Since winter carries its own unique set of challenges, carrying insurance for your trip will give you coverage in case of trip cancellation, travel delays, lost luggage and medical emergencies. Travel Guard has its own winter storm page, as well as a place to compare travel insurance quotes.

Clothing in Layers

Once you’ve decided that winter hazards are worth the trip, make plans to enjoy the sites along Route 66, which runs from Chicago to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica (CA). Take a few tips from “Blue Coyote,” “Silly Squirrel” and “Cactus Killer,” travelers who chronicled their 2010 trip along Route 66 at the Dancing Weasel. They give plenty of trip tips, especially for those planning to go camping. (Examples: Dress in layers in mountainous areas, and bring sunscreen, no matter what season). Also provided is an interactive trip of the route. At one stop the travelers made along the way was Texola (OK), which they described as not quite a ghost town.

“We couldn’t help but get out and walk around, exploring what happens when a town is on the verge of extinction but still holding on,” their blog reported— they even heard a dog barking from a distance.

Road Conditions & Virtual Road Maps

It might be hard to get that type of experience while traveling on an interstate. RoadTrip America is a spoonful of information on a Route 66 trip. It includes a link to “Guy Randall’s Tour of the Mother Road,” for example, that includes 4,566 photographs, historical anecdotes and updated reports of road conditions. Open a state page to obtain a virtual road map, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to get a map of that state.

From that page, you’ll open a new page that explains attractions on that section of the route. Use the navigation links for “Route 66 West” and “Route 66 East” at the top of this page or click on the next town shown on the map. Repeat the process when you reach a new state line to continue the trek.

Weather Conditions

To keep track of local weather, click on the Weatherblink.com link for local forecasts, which will come in handy in the unpredictable winter months.

Sleeping Conditions

Eventually, you want to find places to sleep. For a truly unique motel experience, stay at a Wigwam Motel in Holbrook (AZ), or San Bernardino (CA). The California motel has a village-style arrangement of 19 tepees, each 30 feet high and made from wood framing, concrete and stucco. Individual wigwams are equipped with all the traveler’s essentials that Natives probably didn’t have, such as an outdoor barbecue grill. There also is a kidney-shaped swimming pool at the motel.

Extra Tips

The National Historic Route 66 Federation gives some advice on planning a trip. After all, Route 66 isn’t on ordinary maps and there are few road signs to view it. The website store offers a Route 66 kit allowing travelers to plan a trip in advance, which is crammed with motels, cafes and trading posts.

And with winter being the off-season for Route 66 travelers, you won’t have to deal with many large crowds either.

By Dee Paulson – Dee is a retired world history teacher, Dee travels the world and shares cultural and political viewpoints in her stories online. She visits Cairo and Italy every year.

Aug 172012
 


Illuminated, colorful signs for iconic businesses tell Route 66 story best

Editor’s note: Explore Arizona contributor Roger Naylor and photographer Larry Lindahl traveled the length of Historic Route 66 in Arizona to document it in their 2012 book, “Arizona Kicks on Route 66.” In seeking to excerpt the book, we might have settled on the small-town history, the people or the kitschy-cool vibe. But the bright neon photos leaped off the pages. Here’s an armchair tour.

One of my favorite parts of writing “Arizona Kicks on Route 66” was discovering the kaleidoscope blaze of neon that still slices through small-town twilight. From Holbrook to Kingman, from Winslow to Williams, neon-sign language is the lingo of Route 66.

Route 66 neon signs

Neon shimmers and glimmers, it reinvents the dusk and changes the direction of color. Neon is the nightlight of angels and drunkards. Keep your starry, starry skies; give me one twinkling with rainbow hues. If I ever enter politics, the first law I’ll champion will be a tax break for every business that erects a neon sign.

Neon — both old and new — is still in evidence along Arizona’s portion of Route 66. That wavy ribbon of two-lane pavement carves out the journey of a lifetime. Grand adventures mingled with intimate moments unfold, while conjuring images of simpler times. In places where diners are still run by sassy waitresses who call everybody “Hon,” and motel rooms are shaped like tepees, neon signs paint the night softly.

Here are photographer Larry Lindahl’s images of Route 66 neon.

Dairy Queen

This dollop of vintage neon blends in perfectly in Holbrook, where the skyline includes cafes, a historic courthouse, hulking dinosaurs guarding rock shops and motel rooms shaped like wigwams. Not to mention the only Route 66 movie theater left in Arizona. Now, who wants ice cream?

Joe and Aggie’s Café

Sitting at the booth under the “Open” sign at Joe and Aggie’s on a summer evening, it’s easy to lose track of the decades. Folks stroll past on the sidewalk, cars glide through downtown Holbrook, and it’s all bathed in a neon glow. You’re just a snap-brim fedora and a few swooping Chevy fins from 1957.

Museum Club

If the term roadhouse didn’t exist, it would be coined for the Museum Club, a Flagstaff icon. The giant log cabin once housed a taxidermist, then a museum, before becoming a legendary music venue. It’s said to be haunted by the former owners, both of whom died in the club.

Galaxy Diner

Photos and memorabilia line the walls of the Galaxy Diner in Flagstaff. The aroma of chopped-steak burgers wafts through the joint, and banana splits are piled high. Every weekend brings live bands, swing-dancing lessons and car-club meetings.

Western Hills Motel

Neon and Route 66 will be forever linked. Garish, gaudy signs like this beauty in Flagstaff cut through the cacophony of roadside advertising to snag passing motorists. The motel may be a little down at the heels, but is still in operation.

Sierra Vista Motel

The Sierra Vista is a remnant of another era. A cluster of hotels and boarding houses once huddled along a pre-1935 alignment of Route 66 just south of downtown Flagstaff. Now, businesses such as Mother Road Brewing Co. and Pizzicletta restaurant are springing up along this stretch.

Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe

Cruiser’s Cafe is the unofficial patio of Route 66, right on the Mother Road in downtown Williams. Ribs are almost always sizzling on the grill, and a guy with a guitar plays the soundtrack of a rambling youth. Traffic flows past, and it’s hard to resist ordering one more beer under those circumstances.

Rod’s Steak House

If you build it, they will come. If you build it and put a neon cow on the roof, they’ll stop for a meal. That bovine beacon has been luring hungry travelers to Rod’s Steak House in Williams since 1946.

Snow Cap

The Snow Cap in Seligman is beloved for its tasty grub and the wacky gags of the late Juan Delgadillo. Juan’s legacy lives on as his kids continue delivering his zingers along with juicy burgers. A visit to the Snow Cap is a reminder that life is delicious and should never be taken too seriously.

Supai Motel

Classic neon signs define the Seligman skyline, like the one at the Supai Motel. Pull into town at dusk with those lights beckoning and the seductive promise of New Color TVs, and it’s almost impossible not to stop for the night.

Historic Route 66 Motel

Route 66 pilgrims from all over the world visit Seligman because this is where the preservation movement began. They explore the small town with wide-eyed wonder during the day, then settle in at the Historic Route 66 Motel for the night.

Hill Top Motel

The sign lets you know you’re in for a classic Route 66 experience. The Hill Top in Kingman is an excellent example of the midcentury motor courts that are synonymous with the Mother Road. Enjoy a restful night on a high perch, away from the rumble of trains.

Route 66 facts

Arizona contains the longest unbroken stretch of Route 66 still in existence, 158 miles from west of Ash Fork to the California state line.

Arizona is the birthplace of Historic Route 66. Through the work of a handful of Seligman residents, Arizona became the first state to dedicate a stretch of U.S. 66 as Historic Route 66, thus beginning the preservation efforts that soon encompassed the entire road.

The only national park that Route 66 passes through is Petrified Forest National Park.

In 2009, Historic Route 66 in Arizona was designated an All-American Road under the Federal Highways National Scenic Byways Program. Only 31 roads in the nation have that distinction, and it is the only portion of Route 66 to hold it.

Details: www.arizonakicks66.com, Facebook.com/Route66Arizona, @Rt66Arizona on Twitter.

by Roger Naylor -  The Republic

 

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.

Mar 222012
 



Seeing I have the next 12-14 months running back and forth from Scottsdale to Joseph City / Holbrook, I figured I should REALLY get to know the eastern part of Route 66 in Arizona as well as I could…

I usually leave around 5am (or earlier) on my trek north to Flagstaff then east to Joseph City. I like driving in the dark, there is no one out and the road is pretty much yours.

Getting to Flagstaff – the snow was everywhere! Reports said 19-28″ (depending on who you believe) fell over the weekend, and I decided to postpone my trip one day to get the plows out and do what they do best.






I hit a few ice patches in Flagstaff, but just enough to get gas and get on I-40 (sorry, I have a meeting to get to!)

Before I rushed to get to my meeting, I thought it would be nice to get off at the Winslow exit to ‘poke a peek’ at what was happening. I came across this building, which has a story behind it…







This is the ‘Route 66 Palace’ in Winslow – located right across the street from the Winslow Theater (the theater is for sale ya know!) and I stumbled upon the owner via a website dedicated to, his wife’s truck (??)

For those who do not know – I am restoring a 1949 Ford F-3 3/4 ton pickup truck, because I like to work on things. While looking for parts online, I came across an unusal 1948 Ford F-1 1/2 ton pickup truck, and it caught my eye.







The one on the left is hers – the one on the right is mine.

So, I tracked down the owner of the Route 66 Palace - Brian, and he and I spoke for about an hour about, well, Route 66 stuff!
I can tell you he is a welcome addition to the ‘owners club’ on the route, and he is going full steam ahead with the restoration of his building, which he told me he will use as a ‘getaway house’. So you might ask, what is he running from? The same type of thing anyone owning a summer cottage, a small home on the lake, or even a ski resort place, this one happens to be on the route!

He and I will meet in the near future!

After my meeting, I went to lunch at the Wayside Cafe in Holbrook for a quick bite. (sorry – no pics!) I have never been here before and the food wasn’t bad. It is truly a ‘mom and pop’ type of restaurant. Quick and easy. I had the Chicken Burrito – and it was good.

I wanted to leave the job early enough to get to Winslow and stop at a few places, but this would not be the case.

One of those stops was to the Old Trails Museum a few doors down from the ‘Standin on the Corner Gift Shop’







Alas, they were closed!
I always wanted to check it out inside and see what they have on display – maybe next time…

I ALWAYS stop in to my favorite LITTLE gift shop – the Standin’ on the Corner Gift Shop just to chat with the ladies and see what is happening in town. As usual, they were chock-full of knowledge.








I ended up buying a few things for my office (it is slowly becoming the ‘Corporate America Route 66 Shrine!’).

I said my good-byes and hurried over to the Meteor Crater Trading Post to check in… only to find they were closed! Um, it’s getting close to travel season folks! Extend the hours a little!







I keep checking out the ‘World’s Largest Map of Route 66′ mural to assess the work that could be done to it, and there will be quite a bit of work to do. They also want to do a few more things around the property – but that little ‘surprise’ will have to wait.

I felt I needed to get home, but as I was driving towards Flagstaff, I noticed a steel structure going up just north of Twin Arrows. Curious by nature, I got off the Twin Arrows exit and went the OTHER way away from the Trading Post and headed up the road. The road is abruptly closed off with gates and signs and warnings, and I slowly approached a couple who happened to be outside.

I asked them if this is where the new casino was being built and the older gentleman simply replied ‘Yep’. Then he proceeded to ask if I were ‘the media’… He told me the name of the new casino will be the Twin Arrows Resort and Casino - because Twin Arrows itself is trademarked, so they went with this name.








Notice they did not change the logo?

Now, here is the hope: If the casino is going up, I am wondering how long until the Hopi Tribe starts working on the Twin Arrows Diner, Trading Post and Gas Station!

There has always been talk of once the Navajo start the casino…. the Trading Post would be right behind it.

So I left and headed back to Scottsdale. Knowing in a few short days (tomorrow actually!) I am back on the road towards Needles to start recon on the 66 Motel sign so we can light that baby up!!

Dec 142011
 



The Globetrotter Lodge in Holbrook AZ…


This is a place that (for me) has come out of the woodwork in the last year!

The ‘Austrian Family’ (as they are known!) purchased this motel not too long ago, and have worked on it ever since! I was in Holbrook a few months ago touring the town and saw them outside working on the grounds sprucing it up! Not to mention, they have a HUGE painted Route 66 shield which I believe all guest can sign with a magic marker – something you do not see very often!

Holbrook is really known for the Wigwam Motel - and literally a few block down the road is the Globetrotter Lodge. The work that had gone into the rooms at the Globetrotter are amazing! I am happy to see they are really trying to bring this place back to a standard not seen in Holbrook, and their rankings on Trip Advisor show whatever they are doing – it is working!

Holbrook is going to go through some big changes over the next few years. The discovery of ‘Pot Ash’ will bring all kinds of industry and factories to the area, BUT this means ‘out with the old, and in with the new…’ and I was told serveral historic Route 66 restaurants, motels, and gas stations are in the path of the bulldozer. This will change the town dynamics considerably, but as long as we have places like the Globetrotter Lodge - welcoming not only Route 66 travelers, but getting ready for future vistors – we know the town of Holbrook will be OK…

Visit them on their website by clicking HERE, or join them on Facebook by clicking HERE.

I mentioned before my work will take me to Joseph City AZ over the next year – and while I am up there – I will make sure I stay at the Globetrotter as many times as I can – and of course, I will let you know how it goes!

Aug 092011
 



The Historic Route 66 Passport was recently awarded the prestigious Governor’s Tourism Award during the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Phoenix. For about a year, the passport has been available for fans of the historic landmark at the Williams-Forest Service Visitors Center. Route 66 communities from throughout the state are featured in the promotional tool, including Williams.

The passports are available for free at participating visitor’s centers along Route 66, and for those traveling on the Mother Road can have their passport stamped at each location along the Route. Acquiring all Route 66 stamps qualifies participants for a prize.

Besides having their passports stamped in various Route 66 communities, coupons may also be added to the passports, which can be slipped inside the pages to help draw visitors to particular area businesses.

Williams Main Street Coordinator Sue Atkinson said the passports have been very popular and it has been difficult to keep up with the demand.

Mary Barbee, visitor’s use assistant at the Williams Visitors Center agreed with Atkinson and said the public has had a positive response to the passports.

“They are really liking them,” she said. “We went through them like that.”

The Arizona Historic Route 66 Passport, spearheaded by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona (Association) on behalf of the Route 66 communities, received the distinguished Cooperative Marketing Award at a luncheon, which recognized 10 individuals and organizations for their best practices, accomplishments, and contributions to the Arizona tourism industry.

The Cooperative Marketing Award is presented to the project that best exemplifies creative partnerships to develop and execute a cooperative marketing initiative. The criteria used by the panel of judges to select the winner included demonstrating an exceptional effort, innovation, uniqueness, effective use of resources, measurable results, and its overall contribution to the tourism industry of Arizona.

According to the Association’s press release, The Historic Route 66 Passport is the first joint marketing effort between all the communities across Arizona’s stretch of Route 66. The Association said while the overall goal for the Passport Program is to increase visitation to the Route 66 communities, attractions, and businesses across northern Arizona, a major objective has been to demonstrate the power of working together.

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, founded in 1987 to preserve, protect, and promote Arizona’s Route 66, oversees the Passport Program, however, according to the Association’s press release, it was the financial contributions of so many that made this project a reality.

All communities across the Route were represented in this marketing tool thanks to a grant from the Arizona Office of Tourism, and generous contributions from the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, Hualapai Tourism, the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, Kingman Chamber of Commerce, Flagstaff Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Winslow Chamber of Commerce, Williams’ Main Street Association, and the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce.

May 312011
 



I had the opportunity to speak in front of 900 attendees at Ignite Phoenix 10 in Scottsdale. Click HERE to watch the video!

The premise is you get 5 minutes, 20 slides, and speak without cue cards, a teleprompter, or anything to rely on. Just your memory. The slides are timed at 15 second intervals, and you do not know when your 15 seconds are up – so timing is everything! I was first on stage out of 18 presenters – so I did what anyone would have done – prayed, took a deep breath, and headed out to the stage!

The presentation was to get 2 messages across: 1) Route 66 is still there! 2) here is a SMALL part of what you will see on Route 66 - so get out there!!

I was approached by SO MANY attendees afterwards telling me how they have traveled it in the past, or about the people and places they have met, or how they now want to travel it, or simply – they didn’t know it was still drivable! My point got across!

Now, it is hard to remember everything when you are standing in front of a packed auditorium, alone on the stage with only your slides behind you, and your mouth and brain racing to see which one gets the point out first!

As you can see, a few times the mouth won over the brain, and a few things got jumbled – so don’t hold it against me!

I truly want to thank David Schwartz for providing me most of the pictures for the slides – they served their purpose better than I expected – and only help me getting my presentation to the next level.

As I said in the last few seconds – ‘I hope to see you on the road!’

May 222011
 



Imagine presenting close to 900 people the thing you truly believe in…
Imagine being first on stage – without any teleprompter, cue cards, nothing! Just you and the audience!
Ignite Phoenix allowed me to speak of my passion – Route 66!

Below are a few pics taken before and during my presentation. The video will be available shortly – and I will post it.
Thanks to all of those who came – to those who had postitive TWEETS about my presentation – and to all of those who came up to me afterwards talking about Route 66!!

 

Twitter posts about the presentation:

lakeeler Lauren
Aw, @route_66_world, making me nostalgic for road trips. #IgnitePhx

ProsserArch Prosser Architects
#ignitephx @route_66_world taking us on the road again

impromptuguru Jill Schiefelbein
#ignitephx Get your kicks @Route_66_World

victormoreno Victor Moreno
#ignitephx the passion @route_66_world has for roadside travel and it’s timeless charm is palpable, I’m smiling :)

MackDuncan MackDuncan
Get your kicks on @Route_66_World #ignitephx

prestoniscrazy Preston Smith
@route_66_world – feeling emotion about my 85 year old grandparents!

halfacat Roger Williams
Opening of @route_66_world killing it at #ignitephx 10 http://campl.us/bbJ5

CorineMGreen Corine
@Route_66_World Very interesting, thank you! #ignitephx

amyheisler Amy Heisler
Fantastic stories and photos! @Route_66_World. Thx for sharing! #ignitephx

AlexBerger Alex Berger
Euros and others come to visit and explore @route_66_world reminds us to visit our local route 66 stretch/not take it for granted.

aussieheather aussieheather
I’m ready to travel on Route 66! Great presentation @route_66_world

RCWClady Teresa Lewis
The mother road as Steinbeck calls it – Route 66. @Route_66_World. Great job. #Ignitephx

ASUCaseyThomas Casey Thomas
Road trip! @route_66_world proud AZ is part of the greatest road in USA #ignitephx

dustpars Dusty Parsons
Celebrating Americana and @route_66_world! #ignitephoenix

RideNowPwrsprts RideNow Powersports
@route_66_world is giving a great presentation at #ignitephx about traveling along route 66. Great places to ride!

prestoniscrazy Preston Smith
@wifeofninja @route_66_world just say we should stay at a wigwam in Holbrook.

FowleLanguage Zach Fowle
.@Route_66_World says the mother road isn’t abandoned at all. Stay at old hotels, fill up at rickety gas stations, smell roses. #ignitephx

jackalert Jack Smith
great opening! “@halfacat: Opening of @route_66_world killing it at #ignitephx 10 http://t.co/4oRZZFw”

briankranz Brian Kranz
Awesome presentation, @Route_66_World! I wanna take a road trip on Route 66 now.

brandxtshirts Brand X T-Shirts
I wanna travel #route66 on a vespa @route_66_world #ignitephx

susanbaier Susan Baier
#ignitephx Great job @route_66_world

Intelliclean Intelliclean
@route_66_world go AZ and Da Route 66!!!!!