Let’s get excited! Opportunity is knocking!
New businesses are opening, murals and public art are adding color and vibrancy, organizations and groups are working together with the City of Kingman to bring projects to fruition, events are filling the streets and parks, and travelers are making the community a destination. Parking is becoming a refreshing problem in the city’s historic business district as locals and visitors flock to the restaurants, the microbreweries, sidewalk cafes, and eclectic shops. People drive from Las Vegas and Flagstaff to join a Promote Kingman walking tour. The renaissance is spreading along the Route 66 corridor, and increasingly the city is the subject of news reports throughout the world, blog posts, Facebook posts, guidebooks, and magazine features.
On Beale Street, Southwest Trading Company recently opened, and with the addition of a custom metal sign crafted by Gregg Arnold, creator of Giganticus Headicus at Antares Point Route 66 Visitor Center, it has become a photo op for visitors. Magnifying the popularity of the store as a destination was the recent transformation of the former print room next door. The long neglected condemned building was recently purchased and gutted as the first step its transformation into a new business. In partnership with the Route 66 Association of Kingman, the owners transformed the empty shell into a whimsical show piece.
Colorful murals have transformed Rutherford’s 66 Family Diner, a restaurant that opened in 1964 as a Denny’s. Well known for its expansive menu, excellent food, and friendly, professional service, the addition of a patio and colorful murals have made it a destination for Route 66 enthusiasts. The restaurant was a stop for William Shatner during his Route 66 tour, and recently received additional recognition with its listing as a recommended stop by the Route 66 Association of Germany. The murals at Ramada Kingman that provide travelers with memorable photo ops is now a destination for legions of travelers, and are noted in guidebooks.
Episode one in the Jim Hinckely’s America: A Trek Along Route 66 video series has received favorable reviews and accolades from acclaimed film producers. With the use of historic photos from the Mohave Museum of History & Arts, the video highlights the colorful history and celebrity association with Kingman, and presents the community as a vibrant destination, a town at the crossroads of the past and future. With sponsorship from Grand Canyon West, Grand Canyon Caverns, and other companies, episodes two and three are under development.
The Route 66 Association of Kingman, Promote Kingman, Route 66 Cruizers, and business owners are partnering to ensure that tour groups never forget their visit to Kingman. A dinner at Calico’s Restaurant was facilitated for members of the Canadian Route 66 Association and Route 66 enthusiasts during the 30th annual Route 66 Fun Run. Route 66 Cruizers, in partnership with the owners of the Grand Event Center, Promote Kingman, and the Route 66 Association of Kingman rolled out the red carpet with a dinner for a group from Netherlands based US Bikers. A breakfast was arranged for members of the Czech Route 66 Association. Franco Zefferi of the fledgling Italian Route 66 Association was presented with an honorary membership in the Route 66 Association of Kingman, an event that was commemorated in a photo book about his trip published this year.
Opportunity is knocking. Will we answer? Market your business to the world as a Promote Kingman partner, or as a sponsor for a program such as the weekly Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live program, and provide a community service. Let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s make Kingman a destination for visitors, for families, for business owners, for entrepreneurs, and for retirees. Let’s make Kingman a great place to call home.