Respondents noted the growing interest in bicycle tourism and the recent initiatives pertaining to Route 66 put forth by the Adventure Cycling Association as an example of potential new markets (link “n”).
Those that addressed this issue cited the Chain of Rocks Bridge as a positive example of how abandoned infrastructure can be utilized to meet the needs of this market. The loss of the bridge at Route 66 State Park in Missouri was referenced as an example of threats that jeopardize capitalizing on it. They also noted that preservation of these components was crucial if this potential market was to be fully capitalized on.
Building preservation and repurposing is also an issue of pressing concern. This is a wide ranging issue that runs the gamut from preserving structures in an arrested state of decay similar to Bodie, California to full refurbishment of long abandoned businesses.
Underlying the urgency expressed by some respondents is the need to educate communities about utilizing the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for development and redevelopment that is linked to the preservation of historic structures. Several respondents proposed a relatively simplistic and similar means of resolution.
Cuba, Missouri, Galena, Kansas, Pontiac, Illinois, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Tucumcari, New Mexico were often cited as examples of communities that had successfully harnessed the resurgent interest in Route as a catalyst for transformation. The suggestion was to compile a report that detailed how these and other communities utilized innovative zoning ordinances, beautification programs, the repurposing of historic structures, and other initiatives to make this transition, and submit it to city managers and mayors in communities along the Route 66 corridor.
Specific examples cited for inclusion in the report include:
a) The opening of the Route 66 Arcade Museum in Atlanta, Illinois–
b) Transformation of the Old Trails dealership showroom in Kingman, Arizonainto the Route 66 Ice Cream Shop & Bakery –
c) Refurbishment and reopening of the Roadrunner Lodge in Tucumcari, New Mexico –
d) The mural program in Cuba, Missouri –
e) Renovation of the Eagle Theater in Pontiac, Illinoisto serve as multipurpose facility suitable diner theater, musical revues , meetings, conferences, etc. –
f) Refurbishment of the Boots Court in Carthage, Missouri–
g) Refurbishment of the Campbell Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma–
h) Establishment of the Route 66 ElectricVehicle Museumin Kingman, Arizona –
i) The El Garces project in Needles, California –
j) The City of Albuquerque’s initiatives to prevent demolition of the historic El Vado Motel –
k) Development of the promotional partnership between Galena, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri–
l) Façade renovation project in Sapulpa, Oklahoma–
It was also suggested that workshops and conferences be included in at least one major Route 66 event annually. These educational venues should include information about grants, grant acquisition, zoning, social media, the needs of the international market, and related subjects.
A centralized source for the listing of Route 66 properties that are for sale, endangered properties, and properties being scheduled for demolition was also proposed. This source could also serve as a venue to solicit support from the international community to intervene when properties are threatened.
As with issues pertaining to promotion, marketing, and education, the general consensus in regards to resolving problems associated with infrastructure preservation and development was that establishment of a representative organization would be the best means to address them. Such an organization could provide the leadership to initiate, assist, magnify, support, and coordinate grassroots initiatives.
TO THE CONTRIBUTORS WHO RESPONDED TO MY REQUEST AND PROVIDED INSIGHT AND OPINIONS VIA CORRESPONDENCE OR DISCUSSION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS REPORT, THANK YOU*
Vickie Ashcraft, Enchanted Trails Trading Post and RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Kaisa Barthuli, Program Manager, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, National Park Service
Dries Bessels, Dutch Route 66 Association member
Jeroen and Maggie Boersma, Dutch Route 66 Association members
Willem and Monique Bor, Dutch Route 66 Association members
David and Amanda Brenner, Roadrunner Lodge, Tucumcari, New Mexico
Dale Butel, Route 66 Tours, Australia
Renee Charles, associate, Kansas Route 66 Association
Larry Clonts, Shamrock Economic Development Corporation, Shamrock, Texas
Jim Conkle, Route 66 personality, tour guide
Gary Cron, Route 66 Radio
Rich Dinkela, Missouri based community organizer, business owner, and educational resources developer
David Dunaway, New Mexico
Glen Duncan, associate, California Route 66 Association
Silke Durnez, BelgiumRoute 66 Association
Connie Echols, Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba, Missouri
Gar and Heidi Engman, Teepee Curios, Tucumcari, New Mexico
Toshiyuki Goto, Japanese Route 66 Association
Allen and Stacy Greer, Frontier Motel, Truxton, Arizona
Ron Hart, Route 66 Chamber of Commerce
David Heward, Holbrook community organizer
Debra Hodkin, Route 66 Mother Road Museum, Barstow, California
Cheryl Eichar Jett, author, Illinois based community organizer
Zdnek Jurasek, Czech Route 66 Association
Ed Klein, Route 66 World
Jan and Henk Kuperus, U.S.Bikers/USA Holidays, Netherlands
Karl Kuperus and Hanneke Wiersma, tour guides
Ramona Lehman, Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon, Missouri
Bob Lile, artist and tour guide
Mannie Mendelson, Route 66 Last Stop Shop, Santa Monica California
Dora Meroney, owner, Texas Ivy Antiques, Amarillo, Texas, President Old Route 66 Association of Texas
Kevin and Nancy Mueller, Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico
Sam Murray, owner, Frontier Motel and Restaurant, Truxton, Arizona, Gilligan’s Route 66 Tours, New Zealand
Brad Nickson, associate, Oklahoma Route 66 Association
Kumar Patel, Wigwam Motel, Rialto, California
Scott Piotrowski, tour guide, organizer 90th anniversary Route 66 celebration in Los Angeles, California
Rosie Ramos, Fenders Resort, Needles, California
Katie Robleski, Fading Nostalgia
Joe Sonderman, author
Richard Talley, Motel Safari, Tucumcari, New Mexico
Bill Thomas, Atlanta, Illinois
Mike Ward, Route 66 enthusiast, consultant, and organizer
Wolfgang Werz, German Route 66 Association
Masel Zimmer, Waterhole #2, Texola, Oklahoma
- The list of those who contributed through honest and open conversation or correspondence in the past ten months is lengthy. If I have not given credit, please accept my apology.