A common theme of conversations in cafes, bars, and on
social media is the various problems and challenges this city faces. This morning I would like to change the tenor of those conversations. Let’s start with a few updates on the Route 66 Association of Kingman, various projects that organization is spearheading, and how you can assist.
In partnership with Legacy Signs and Laron Engineering, a project conceived by Scott McCoy was brought to fruition and donated to the city for installation. This sign listing all of the cities noted in the song about getting your kicks on Route 66, in order of mention with mileage from Kingman, proved to be quite the popular photo op during the recent Route 66 Fun Run. Next on the list, a similar sign with a welcome greeting in numerous languages. Even though the involved partners donate time and resources there are still expenses associated with projects such as these. That takes us to the title for this mornings post, change for change.
The list of projects developed by the association, and the partnerships created to bring them to fruition is long and diverse. They include the murals of state, county, city, and Hualapai tribal seals in the parking lot of Floyd & Company, restoration of the murals at the Mohave Museum of History & Arts, restoration of the symbols and inset signage at the historic Masonic Lodge, acquisition, restoration, and installation of historic neon signage, sponsorship of the Promote KIngman video series, and the creation of signs for non profit organizations.
A stellar addition to the community was the recent restoration and installation of a very historic neon sign that once welcomed east bound travelers to the unincorporated community of El Trovatore near Kingman. Installed about 1936 along Chadwick Drive, an early alignment of Route 66, the sign went dark in the late 1940’s. Donated to the association by the Mohave Museum of History & Arts, this rare link to a forgotten chapter in Kingman history was restored by Legacy Signs. It was installed at the west end of their building on Andy Devine Avenue, and a kiosk that tells the history of the sign, with a map to its original location, will be added soon.
The association would prefer to fund these projects through membership dues. However, donations are gladly accepted and your pocket change can make a world of difference. The association website contains membership information as well as a button for donations.
As the association focuses on fostering community development projects and partnerships, it was only natural that this organization would partner with Promote Kingman. After all, this initiative is being built on a vision of creating a community of the future, one partnership at a time.
Now, let’s look at some exciting news from the Promote Kingman initiative. The first installment in the Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek Along Route 66 video series is now ready for preorder. Part two and three are under development, and some new sponsors including Grand Canyon Caverns and Grand Canyon West are on board. The videos are being offered to the chamber of commerce, now a Promote Kingman sponsor, and Kingman area tourism for use in the marketing of Kingman.
The Friday morning Facebook live program developed in partnership with Jim Hinckley’s America continues to grow in popularity. The reach often exceeds 4,000 people. That provides value to sponsoring partners such as Grand Canyon Caverns, and puts the international spotlight on Kingman. Likewise with the weekly Facebook live community events program sponsored by Ramada Kingman and Canyon 66. A proposed podcast is still in the planning stages.
Recently Promote Kingman began offering historic district walking tours. With author Jim Hinckley as the guide, and the use of historic images from the Mohave Museum of History & Arts, the tours do more than provide an additional activity for visitors. They also foster increased awareness about Kingman’s rich history, and exciting developments in the historic business district. Linked with this are special presentations offered to tour groups. As evidence of the potential for marketing Kingman through this program, on the first tour a couple drove from Las Vegas to participate.
And if these initiatives and projects aren’t enough to spark some excitement about the changing face of Kingman, consider the array of new businesses opening in the historic business district. All of this, however, is but the tip of the ice berg. Wait until details are posted about this months Open House.