Still kickin’: Route 66 shields, signs boost nostalgia in Arizona

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Still kickin’: Route 66 shields, signs boost nostalgia in Arizona
Aug 242014
 

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Yavapai County has helped its Route 66 communities of Seligman and Ash Fork celebrate their history with new Historic US 66 shield signs painted right onto the highway, with a healthy dose of new Burma-Shave signs on the side.

That should slightly lighten the workload of the mysterious man who travels Route 66 painting the shields onto the road under cover of darkness. Seligman native Clarissa Delgadillo says the legend is widespread across the Mother Road.

“A couple times a year, the shields appear,” Delgadillo said, and then the Arizona Department of Transportation gets rid of them because ADOT has Route 66 jurisdiction in Seligman and Ash Fork.

Her sister Mirna once spotted a man leaving a safety cone in front of her family’s Route 66 Gift Shop right before the shield reappeared, but didn’t get a good description of him.

ADOT officials are concerned that tourists will stand on the road on top of the shields for photos, spokesman Dustin Krugel explained.

But Yavapai County has jurisdiction on the rest of the mostly uninhabited Route 66 segments through this county, so county Public Works employees recently painted the large shields on each end of Seligman as well as Route 66 near the Interstate 40 Crookton Exit and Ash Fork.

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County Public Works employees also crafted four new sets of replica Burma-Shave signs with the blessing of the current owners of the defunct company, Yavapai County Supervisor Craig Brown said. Local citizens picked out their favorite sayings.

A brushless shaving cream company called Burma-Shave came up with the idea in 1925 to place catchy poems along America’s highways and get its name known. Route 66 was born the next year in 1926. Each of the series of typically red and white signs contains one line of a poem.

“Listen birds, these signs cost money, so roost awhile, but don’t get funny,” one of the new sets of signs reads outside Seligman.

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona has been working with ADOT, counties and municipalities to play up the Mother Road while also trying to make it safer, Mirna Delgadillo said.

“We definitely are trying to preserve and protect Seligman,” she added, praising the county’s help.

“Anything we can do to promote economic development, we’re going to do,” Brown said. By making the signs in-house they cost only about $1,000, he estimated. The county also rehabilitated other Burma Shave signs it originally made and placed on the highway as far back as 2002.

“They help bring nostalgia back for tourists,” librarian Charlotte Lindemuth said. “They’re so interested in the history of Route 66.”

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona members in Seligman, including the Delgadillo family led by association founder Angel Delgadillo, are concerned about visitors from around the world being able to stroll across the four-lane highway in town, which has no stop signs or lights.

They asked ADOT for two crosswalks and a lower speed limit of 25 instead of the current 35.

ADOT’s preliminary analysis concludes the crossings don’t meet its standard requirements because there isn’t a concentrated area where pedestrians try to cross the highway, Krugel said.

Traffic speeds also seem appropriate as traffic is generally in compliance with the 35 mph limit, Krugel and the regional traffic engineer said.

Clarissa and Mirna Delgadillo say they frequently sees vehicles speeding through town, however.

ADOT hopes to have a final analysis on the crossings and speed limits sometime this year, the regional traffic engineer said.

The Seligman Historical Society also has been trying to restore the 1912 Cottage Hotel that has been serving as a visitors center, Lindemuth said. Community members would like to create a museum there, too.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has awarded Seligman a grant to get asbestos and lead out of historic structure.

“Anything we can do to preserve old historic buildings, we’d better do or we’re going to lose them,” Brown said.

To support the efforts to restore the Cottage Hotel, go online to seligmanhistory.com.

By: Joanna Dodder – The Daily Courier

Historic Route 66 Passport honored with Governor’s Tourism Awards

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Historic Route 66 Passport honored with Governor’s Tourism Awards
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.