After years of languishing as little more than a stop on the path to somewhere else there is a definite sense that Kingman may be the rising star on Route 66. I may be a bit premature in regard to these thoughts but the embers are glowing bright and are ready to be fanned into a blaze.
First there was the El Trovatore Motel that was pulled back from the brink. For the first time in decades its neon again glows bright. With the restoration of each room it is almost as though the hands of time are being turned back.
Now colorful murals are making it a showplace. And soon, it will have a new claim to fame as the home of the world’s longest Route 66 map.
For years the trading post at Meteor City held that record. Even though their claim to fame is about to be eclipsed, no one can infringe on what makes their map irreplaceable – it was designed and originally painted by iconic artist Bob Waldmire.
As a result of the resurgence of this historic motel, Route 66 enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to capture images of a near perfect view of Route 66 circa 1959. From the parking lot of the Hilltop Motel, the neon of both historic motels can be seen against a backdrop of quintessential landscapes.
Now, the foundation has been laid for creation of the world’s largest Route 66 museum, and the transformation of the west wall of the circa 1915 Old Trails Garage which will complete the little pocket park on the corner of Third Street and Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66). Meanwhile the transformation of the mezzanine at the Powerhouse Visitor Center is about to begin.
|The dining room facing Route 66 in the historic Hotel
These are exciting times in Kingman! The historic Brunswick Hotel has been sold and renovation is commencing. Dora’s Beale Street Deli (one block north of Route 66) is expanding their menu and adding a number of special evenings.
Redneck’s, also on Beale Street, is on the fast track to becoming a favorite for European visitors. The reviews on Tripadvisor continue to be favorable encouraging other travelers to make the slight detour as they motor west.
In a few weeks the refurbished depot will open as a railroad museum. A grant will soon transform the pedestrian crossing between the Powerhouse Visitor Center and the legendary locomotive across the street.
Haulapai Mountain Park, a forested oasis with cabins, hiking trails, and lodge in a sea of desert that is a mere dozen miles from Route 66 is the subject of a forthcoming article in the Arizona Republic and the next issue of 66 The Mother Road. Sirens Cafe, also on Beale Street, is the recipient of a very favorable review published in a recent edition of Arizona Highways.
It would seem that the secret is about to spring from the bag, Kingman is one of the most overlooked destinations on Route 66. I wonder how long it will be before visitors discover that this is also a great place to live with lots of opportunity for capitalizing on the resurgent interest in Route 66.
The last note of the day pertains to the magazine, 66 The Mother Road. The owners are about to shift into high gear so if you have a business to promote, or sell, on Route 66 you will be hard pressed to find a better value for your advertising dollar.
And don’t forget the Big Palooza contest, an advertising opportunity with the added bonus of contributing something special to the Route 66 community or an opportunity to win inspiration for your next adventure on the double six.