If this past year is any indication, Kingman is moving ever closer to becoming a vacation destination and haven for those in search of opportunity. Of course for those of us who choose to call Kingman home the only question is what took so long.
After years of frustration the train depot is on the fast track toward renovation. Now, if we can add continuity with fencing along the tracks, a sidewalk lit with vintage neon, and desert botanical garden that links the depot with the Power House Visitor Center and Route 66 Museum another gem will be added to the crown. With the addition of the Beale Street Deli visitors and residents now have five restaurants in the historic district to choose from. As an added bonus the colorful facade exudes a sense of vibrancy, of life that stands in stark contrast to the empty buildings awaiting transformation by the next visionary.
For decades the historic district of Kingman languished and withered. One by one its historic structures succumbed to abandonment and soon only faded sepia toned photos remained to mark their passing. Then came the colorful transformation of the old Kimo Cafe into Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, the manifestation of vision in the restoration and renovation of the power house, and then the massive old Central Commercial building that now houses Homestyle Furniture, Redneck’s Bar-B-Que, Beale Street Brews & Gallery, and the Wine Cellar. Sources say that soon a new enterprise, Destination Kingman, will also bring vitality to the commercial building with one stop tour packages, a book store, and gallery. If events are the gauge by which restored vitality is measured, the historic district in Kingman will soon again be lit by vintage neon, the sidewalks will again seethe with crowds, and once more this will be the heart of a vibrant community. Plans are under way for one or major events every month during 2011 ensuring more reasons for this to be your vacation destination.Did you know there are miles of well developed bicycle and hiking trails through the gardens of buttes and mesas in the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains less than a mile west of town? Did you know the most remote community in America where the mail is still delivered by mule trains and thundering waterfalls hint of the Garden of Eden is less than 150 miles away?Did you know the Grand Canyon West resort complex with its amazing sky walk is less than eight miles to the north? Did you know that from Kingman it is less than 125 miles to the Colorado River on the only road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon or that from Kingman it is 45 miles to the only one day rafting trip available in the canyon? Did you know that fine dining in a pine forest or miles of shade dappled hiking trails with awe inspiring vistas are only 12 miles to the south? Did you know there are four excellent museums, several art galleries, and a wide array of short, scenic drives ranging from the pine forests of the Hualapai Mountains to Route 66 over Sitgreaves Pass where you will find the sharpest curves, steepest grades, and grandest view anywhere on that storied highway? Did you know Kingman was only 100 miles from Las Vegas, 360 miles from Los Angeles, and 180 miles from Phoenix? Did you know that by train it is only 36 hours from Chicago?
I guess only one question remains. Have you discovered the vacation destination that is Kingman, Arizona?