Mar 182016
 

sipp-shoppe-winslow








The Sipp Shoppe across from the Standin’ on the Corner Park in Winslow is doing brisk business as Nikki Greer and Jacob Martin serve up food and ice cold drinks to customers, including Beata King and Bea Cooper, who stopped in on their way from Phoenix to Wisconsin.

Spring is in the air and that usually means the beginning of tourist season along Route 66, but in Winslow the season is already in full swing. It’s a cautious drive along Second Street as tourists step into the road to get a better angle with their camera or take a quick jog to cross from one sidewalk to another surrounding the Standin’ on the Corner Park.
The center of all the attention is the statue of the lone troubadour waiting for a ride, which has become synonymous with Winslow and draws thousands of people each year as strains of Eagles tunes fill the air from the Standin’ on the Corner gift shop.
At the opposite corner from the gift shop is the Sipp Shoppe. There, numerous patrons enjoy a soda or choose from a long list of hot dog specialties such as the Oklahoma Tornado or the Baja Dog. Nikki Greer, who runs the shop, said that it’s been “total chaos” for the past couple of months, ever since the death of Eagles co-founder Glen Frey. “This is usually our slowest month of the year, but so far it’s been crazy busy, mostly with people from in the state,” she said.
A stroll into the Arizona 66 Trading Co. across from the Sipp Shoppe showed visitors sorting through T-shirts with the words, “Take It Easy” and “Such A Fine Sight To See” emblazoned across the chest, and deciding what knick-knacks to buy while a concert video of the Eagles plays on a wide-screen television.
Sabrina Butler runs the shop and said it’s been busy like this since January. “It seemed like the day after Glenn Frey died people just started showing up,” she said. Butler also talked about the success of the Corner and the people who make it happen. “We have a good group of citizens making that effort, between the Standing on the Corner Foundation and the chamber of commerce we have a lot of great things coming up,” she said before going down a list of events that include a Cinco de Mayo festival, the Father’s Day fishing excursion and the Standin’ on the Corner Festival.
La Posada also is a big draw; they get quite a few celebrities over there. We just had (former Diamondbacks pitcher) Randy Johnson in the other day and he was staying there,” she said.
Soon the city will have another attraction for visitors to the downtown. According to Community Development Director Paul Ferris, the $488,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation’s National Scenic Grant Fund has been freed up and the city can move forward with its plans for the Route 66 Plaza park. The park will be located next to the Standin’ on the Corner Park and will feature a mural of Chicago on the east wall and a mural of Santa Monica pier on the west wall. Winding between the two murals will be a pathway depicting Route 66 and all the highlights of the much-loved road. The work is expected to begin next month, with no time noted for completion.
“It’s taken awhile, but things are finally coming together. This plaza will be another added attraction for our visitors and one more reason to stop,” said Ferris.
Back at the Sipp Shoppe patron Beata King summed up why she stopped in Winslow on her way from Phoenix to Wisconsin: “We love the Eagles and of course we stop in Winslow for the food. We love this place.”

By Linda Kor

Aug 302011
 











I have (again) spoken with the current owner of the Diner Car in Winslow AZ and she sent me additional photos of both the exterior and the interior of the diner car.

This is her original Email to me:

Hi Ed,

Our diner is an authentic 1946 Valentine Diner, masters model, floor-plan #3.

It has to remain in its original location, and retains most of its original features, such as the lockbox (you can see features on Kansas State Historical Society’s website/Valentine Diners). We are in the process of renovation.

Any interested parties can contact us regarding our progress. The pictures attached were taken before work was begun. We are also in the process of getting it on the National Register of Historical Places, which will lower the property taxes and draw nationwide attention to the diner.

As is, we are asking $85,000, which includes the property (about 1/12 acre), located right on historic Rt. 66 and across from the famous La Posada Hotel. As more work is done, the price will increase. Please feel free to spread the word! Thanks so much for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Jessi

………….
Her Email contact is linkay09@gmail.com and please do not overwhelm her with Email other than those who are interested in purchasing – as this was a concern she had with me reaching out to everyone.

This is about three blocks away from the ‘Standing on the Corner’ park and the gift shop and there is plans to open up an old fashion soda shop across the street from the park – and RIGHT across the street from this diner car is the La Posada Hotel – which is ALWAYS packed.

As we all know – these diners are a RARE find along the route and I do expect this to be picked up by someone who truly loves the route and is looking to own a VERY important piece of it’s history…

Aug 022011
 



WINSLOW – Some Winslow residents and business owners are trying to transform their community into a tourist destination, hoping to lure drivers off neighboring highways.

The revitalization efforts are part of a federal- and state-funded $10 million renaissance project to be completed by 2015 that aims to rejuvenate the town’s tourism industry, said Bob Hall, Winslow Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The northeastern Arizona town was once a bustling rural community that benefited from the foot traffic generated by those driving on Route 66, which cuts through the town. But the community has faltered since neighboring Interstate 40 was completed in the 1980s, offering drivers a faster option – one that circumvents the community.

“Everybody talked about how Winslow used to be. But that’s not the case anymore,” Hall said. “We feel like it’s our turn. We see more of a future.”

Recently, Hall led a group of about 20 people on a tour through Winslow, four hours northeast of Phoenix, population about 10,000. Stops along the tour included the Standin’ on the Corner Park, a homage to the Eagles’ 1973 hit song “Take It Easy,” which references the town’s intersection of Kinsley Avenue and Second Street, and the recently restored La Posada Hotel.

Most were members of the Route 66 Association of Arizona, founded in 1987 to promote tourism along Arizona’s Route 66 corridor. They wanted to see if Winslow’s efforts could work in their communities.

Hall pointed out the improvements: new Route 66 benches, road repavements and plans to expand Standin’ on the Corner Park offerings, including a new outdoor stage.

Built by local volunteers, the park is a popular tourist photo spot that opened in 1999, Hall said.

“They promised to embrace their Route 66 roots,” said Sharlene Fouser, Route 66 Association of Arizona president. “And they’re delivering.”

Hard times
Signs of economic struggle remain throughout Winslow.

A former taqueria’s windows are boarded, inked with graffiti. The Winslow Theater’s marquee reads, “For sale.”

About one in five local residents lacks a high-school diploma and unemployment is 14.4 percent, according to the latest census data.

“There’s not enough here in Winslow. We need more business and jobs,” said mail carrier Arlin Rogers, 49, a father of three. “We spend our money raising our kids here, but they have to go somewhere else to work.”

Winslow wasn’t always this way. A clipping from a 1960s local newspaper ad promotes a Jackson Five concert there. The boys’ grandfather lived in the area.

A black-and-white photograph of nearly 300 kids riding bikes in a Fourth of July parade hangs in the town’s one-room museum.

This was before I-40 stole much of Route 66’s traffic, crushing Winslow’s economy.

“You could’ve rolled a bowling ball through town and not hit anything,” said 83-year-old Marie LaMar, who has lived in Winslow nearly her entire life.

She said Winslow is in a new era, which began in the 1990s when a couple of outsiders, including Hall, moved into town.

Hall arrived in Winslow in 1991, about the same time the Standin’ on the Corner Park was being built. He was a caretaker. Doctors said his patient had a year to live. The patient lived another eight years. By then, Hall had fallen in love with Winslow.

“It was a new life for me,” he said.Winslow is united, that’s what I fell in love with. And there’s a history.”

Mormon leader Brigham Young sent settlers in the 1800s to colonize the area, which later became a railroad town. Hall estimated that a third of workers in town today work in the railroad industry.

Allan Affeldt, an artist from Orange County, Calif., said he moved to Winslow in 1997 with his wife, Tina Mion, to turn an abandoned structure into La Posada Hotel.

“In the O.C., I was living behind the orange curtain and grew tired of that,” Affeldt said. Winslow has rough edges, but it’s the real world.”

But he said Winslow had given up and locals were skeptical. The idea of tourism in Winslow seemed far-fetched. But La Posada’s and the park’s success changed their minds.

Even Disney and Pixar took notice.
Executives stayed at La Posada to research the 2006 digitally animated feature film “Cars,” a story of a talking automobile that finds meaning in a Route 66 town, Affeldt said. Winslow residents are acknowledged in the film’s credits.

Today the 48-room hotel is 85 percent occupied year-round, Affeldt said. And dozens of tourists take photographs at the park daily, Hall said.

“We couldn’t have done better if we hired someone from Madison Avenue,” LaMar said.

‘Change the mind-set’
Winslow real-estate agent Lawrence Kenna, 51, said he noticed the renovation of La Posada Hotel on a drive home from work in 2000. But during the same drive he passed a gas station with a sign stating, “God hates Winslow.”

“I told my mom, ‘Either I want to make a difference or I want to move,’ ” Kenna said.

The third-generation Winslow native stayed.

That same week, he bought the gas-station property and got rid of the sign. A beauty parlor will open before year’s end where the gas station once operated.

The store’s owner, Marcia Garnett, said she’s trying to convince locals that they don’t have to go to Phoenix for a quality spa experience.

“You have to change the mindset,” she said.

Since purchasing the first property, Kenna purchased six additional lots along Winslow’s Route 66 corridor.

Now, they are souvenir shops, boutiques and a cafe. An outdoor garden stands where an abandoned bar once existed. Kenna said some of the stores’ architecture reflects Winslow’s diversity. The building’s Native American bricks were restored with plaster in a Mexican style. The decorative Christian crucifix is built of wood from a Western ranch.

The outdoor garden is a popular spot for tourists and locals, particularly during Winslow Summer Nights, which are held biweekly and feature local entertainment, Kenna said.

During these events, LaMar and a group of female volunteers from the Winslow Harvey Girls promote Winslow history.

They’re named after Fred Harvey, who founded a group of restaurants called Harvey Houses along the Southwest, including Winslow, starting in the late 1880s.

They provide free tours and presentations of Winslow landmarks, including La Posada Hotel, and of the historic Route 66 to keep the region’s history alive.

And LaMar said they end meetings with a quote from Margaret Mead, the Philadelphia-born anthropologist: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.”

“Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

by Kevin Cirilli – The Arizona Republic