Okay, lets move beyond generalities, accusations, suggestions, and questions. This is the last day of 2013, so lets narrow the focus on how to create a Route 66 community, and lets get serious about making it a reality in 2014.
Here is my concept of a working blue print –
1) We currently have two primary organizations operating on a national level, the Route 66 Alliance and the National Historic Route 66 Foundation. The Alliance has clout resultant of its celebrity association but the Federation has a solid track record of accomplishment.
In addition to lobbying efforts, the Federation publishes the EZ 66 Guide, a dining and lodging guide, and an excellent newsletter. Rather than waste time or money the Federation utilizes existent resources to fill the needs of the Route 66 community.
As an example, the resources page of their website has links to the excellent calendar of events at Ron Warnick’s Route 66 News. Please evaluate other available resources on this page.
2) Logic dictates that if the celebrity clout of Michael Wallis and John Lassiter, the legal acumen of Rick Freeland, and the passion of Dan Rice, the primary assets of the Route 66 Alliance, were linked in a supportive manner to the infrastructure of the Federation we would have a solid cornerstone for the building of a unified Route 66 community.
3) On this is built a board of directors consisting of one member elected by each state association. The period of service as a board member would be limited to 24 months.
4) Under the board of directors would be an advisory panel. The maximum number of advisors, with a limited 12 month period of service, would be 24.
One half of these would be appointed by Route 66 associations in foreign countries, and one half would be members associated with the hospitality business on Route 66.
The hospitality associated members would be selected through a random drawing of business owners. The drawing would take place at the organizations annual convention held in conjunction with the Route International Festival.
5) The primary goals of the organization would be to provide trip planning assistance, promotional assistance for member businesses, assistance for organizations seeking lecturers or speakers, a clearinghouse for dissemination of information (historic and current) for media and authors, mediation regarding complaints against member businesses, promotional assistance and developmental assistance for communities hosting the Route 66 International Festival, and lobbying clout in regard to issues such as historic bridge replacement.
6) Funding is derived from a two tier membership – one annual fee for non business owners, and another for business owners.
7) Additional income is derived from the sale of merchandise, a percentage of fees derived from arranging for lecturers, assistance provided to tour groups, etc.
Okay, your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions? How do we proceed? Can we have the first convention at the 2014 Route International Festival? Can we develop a series of workshops (obtaining grants, neon refurbishment, tourism development, the 2015 festival) for the festival?