By Jim Hinckley – This past weekend I attended a Route 66 anniversary celebration at the highways original western terminus at 7th Street and Broadway Avenue in the historic theater district of Los Angeles. At the Palace Theater built in 1910, I spoke about Kingman as a community at the crossroads of the past and future, the neon and facade renovation program initiated by the Route 66 Association of Kingman, Promote Kingman, and the Route 66 renaissance.
I was quite privileged by the opportunity to be a part of such an historic event. As has happened on numerous occasions this year, I was also humbled by the faith that sponsors have placed in me to represent the city at events such as this.
In 2016, promotional odysseys have included travel to more than 12 states, and Germany. Each event, each meeting, and each encounter on the road that allowed for the sharing of Kingman area information magnified the sense that our fair city is on the cusp of becoming a destination for travelers from throughout the world.
The event in Los Angeles was truly historic. A great deal has changed since US highway 66, certified on November 11, 1926, ended in the heart of this thriving metropolis.
Exemplifying this fact was the dinner in Pasadena on Friday evening. In attendance were representatives from the German, Japanese, and Canadian Route 66 associations, and enthusiasts from Belgium and France, as well as twelve states.
Interestingly enough, a number of the attendees to this anniversary celebration, including those from foreign lands, had included visits to places in the American southwest in their travel plans. Of course, this wasn’t overly surprising as the southwest and Route 66 rank among the top destinations for visitors to the United States.
I hope you will be able to join us this Saturday evening, November 19, at Beale Celebrations for the first event sponsored by Promote Kingman. In addition to sharing tales of adventure on Route 66 in the era of renaissance and more information about the recent event in Los Angeles, I will also speak on how communities are using the resurgent interest in this storied old highway as a catalyst for revitalization and development.