The modern Route 66 business owner has a few very distinct advantages over their predecessors. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the incredible international brand recognition of Route 66 itself.
Even at its peak, the visionaries of the U.S. Highway 66 Association that developed nifty promotional campaigns such as marketing the double six as the Main Street of America could never have dreamed the road would be as popular as it is today. However, some aspects of modern Route 66 would be most recognizable to these talented individuals.
Perhaps the most notable of these attributes would be the division, the splintered promotional efforts that squander resources of time as well as money, and the business owners fending for themselves. This, however, is old news.
I have broached this topic numerous times on this blog, and it was the subject of heated discussion on numerous Route 66 related forums after the conference in Anaheim. All of this left me with the distinct impression that there is at least one area in which the Route 66 community is incomplete agreement and that is that we need to do something different.
So, lets get down to brass tacks. How serious are we about pooling our collective knowledge and transforming it into an educational resource?
Here is my proposal. Lets include a series of 15 minute seminars with another 15 minutes for an open question and answer period in the Route 66 International Festival this year. Each speaker would need to include a handout sheet with their contact information, and an overview of the basic information they present.
I also suggest that this becomes an integral part of each festival. In my humble opinion this would add tremendous value to the festival, and ensure that it serves to create a unified sense of community.
Okay here are my thoughts as to categories. Do you have any to add? Who do you propose as speakers to address these topics? Is this something you would like to volunteer for?
Historic property acquisition –
Historic property refurbishment –
Funding sources for property acquisition and refurbishment –
Developing Route 66 themed educational programs for schools –
Neon versus LED –
Electric vehicle infrastructure development along the Route 66 corridor (Holbrook is getting a Telsa station) –
Providing planning assistance for foreign travelers –
Sister city program to foster international relationships –
Community programs that work –
Route 66 motel management and challenges –
Highway infrastructure preservation –
Zoning issues and how to resolve them –
Multi-community event development –
Developing minority involvement, participation, and investment in Route 66 –
Bicycle tourism on Route 66 –
Cooperative marketing –