There are a number of developments along Route 66 that hint of a very exciting 2012 in spite of the slow motion replay of the Great Depression that currently plagues the international economy. First, let me set the stage with a story from Pontiac, Illinois that illustrates just how important the resurgent interest in Route 66 is to communities along that highway. 
Surprisingly, the majority of towns and cities along this highway are oblivious to the opportunity for economic development and beautification that is available to them with little or no expense for promotion. I have often lamented the fact that Kingman, my adopted hometown, has been one of these.
Well, it appears that fog is lifting and the city is moving toward becoming the vacation destination that it should, and could, be. The historic El Trovatore Motel, built in 1939, is currently undergoing a full renovation that when complete will make it unique among historic lodging choices along the highway as it has more than fifty rooms, plenty for many tour groups. This is a wonderful Christmas present for the city of Kingman and the Route 66 community!
The Hualapai Tribe, headquartered east of Kingman in Peach Springs, is studying the feasibility of further development of their one of a kind attractions. These include the sky walk at Grand Canyon West, one day rafting trips on the Colorado River in the lower Grand Canyon, and Diamond Creek Road, the only road that provides access to the river at the bottom of that world famous chasm.
The Route 66 in Mohave County photo exhibit being developed for the Power House Visitor Center in Kingman will serve as a wonderful introduction for the Route 66 Museum housed in this building. The exhibit will open in stages with completion scheduled for early summer, 2012.
Exciting developments along Route 66 are not limited to Kingman. In Tucumcari, New Mexico plans to “restore” more empty service stations with fresh paint that presents the illusion that they are vintage Whiting Brothers, Sinclair, or Flying A stations is on the slate for 2012. Also on the schedule is a weekend of events that will be linked to the New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour in early June.
Tucumcari is also unique in regard to Route 66 related development in that it has not one, but several historic, refurbished motels to ensure the time capsule feel of a day spent driving and exploring Route 66 is not lost when the sun goes down. Counted among the crown jewels of these historic properties is the Motel Safari that dates to 1959, and the Blue Swallow Motel that predates this by almost two decades.
Then there is Cuba, Missouri, a community that seems to really understand how to harness the resurgent interest in Route 66 to breathe new life into a community. If the schedule allows, you might want to join me there on October 21 for a little inspiration during Cuba Fest. If you can’t get there in person, and are a follower of Facebook, you can get your inspiration vicariously at this link
All along historic Route 66 the very best of America is on display for the world to see. All along America’s longest attraction there is an excitement that quickens the spirit and unleashes the imagination, just what the doctor ordered in times such as these.
Make your plans today. Discover, or rediscover, what almost a century of hype is all about, and get your kicks on Route 66 in 2012.

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