We used to call it Needless, California. I still often quip that
Needles, California isn’t Hell but if you squint hard, especially in August, you can see it. However, in all fairness there is more than meets the eye in this well worn, sun baked old town steeped in history. On December 22, if all goes as planned, we will highlight a few of the surprises, and discuss neon restoration, when we visit with Rosie Ramos of Fender’s River Resort on our weekly Facebook live program.
That is but one of the exciting projects looming in the horizon. One of the more audacious projects currently being developed is a 21 day trip along Route 66 that will include 21 Facebook live interviews with community leaders, small business owners, artists, authors, event organizers, and legends of the Route 66 community. This is another project being made possible through the generous support of crowdfunding program patrons, promotional partners, and sponsors. Updates on these projects are being made available to patrons, and through our weekly free Mail Chimp subscription.
There are also plans to expand and develop our “welcome wagon” program. Essentially all this amounts to is creating a mechanism that ensures the red carpet is rolled out for those traveling Route 66 and making stops in communities along the way. As envisioned, an ambassador program will be developed that ensures each community has a spokesperson, a host that can answer questions, make dinner arrangements, and, perhaps, provide a walking tour of the historic business tour. It is a bit ambitious but I honestly believe it is quite doable.
This is part of a project to foster development of community awareness about the importance of tourism to long term economic development planning with emphasis on the Route 66 renaissance that we kicked off in earnest this year. It was made manifest in presentations about heritage tourism and economic development in Las Vegas, New Mexico and Tucumcari, New Mexico.
Also on the horizon, or at least in the crystal ball, is a linked promotional platform for authors, artists, and photographers. The cornerstone will be a central clearing house, a portal for event organizers that are looking for a speaker or book signing and authors or artists that would be willing to list availability for events, etc. Obviously this has a self serving component as I have a few books to promote, and am becoming adept at entertaining audiences with a bit of gum beating. Jim Hinckley’s America is becoming the multifaceted promotional platform envisioned, albeit slowly.
Next year, especially in the Route 66 community, will be an almost endless string of exciting events. From the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri to the Route 66 International Festival in Shamrock, Texas, from the 2nd European Route 666 Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic to the Route 66 Fun Run in Seligman, Arizona. If all goes as planned, we will be at each of these events representing our promotional partners, and sponsoring communities. As they say, stay tuned for details.
In my spare time (insert laughter here) I will finish my next book, number 19. This time the literary odyssey will transport readers into the darkest recesses of Route 66 history with tales of murder, mayhem, gangsters, assassins, serial killers, and disaster.
Yep, 2018 looks like it will be quite an adventure.