Spend an afternoon in Kingman, grab a coyote BLT at
Calico’s and listen to the conversations, wander through the Powerhouse Visitor Center and watch the near endless stream of travelers ebb and flow through the museums, and belly up to the bar at Black Bridge Brewery. At each and every stop you will learn that this dusty little desert crossroads, a town immortalized in the song about getting your kicks on Route 66 made famous by crooner Nat King Cole, is experiencing some growing pains. You will also discover that these are changing times in Kingman, and that this town is, perhaps, one of the best kept secrets in Arizona.
Letting the world in on this secret is the goal of Promote Kingman. Creating partnerships that foster development of a sense of community, magnifying the promotional initiatives of the tourism office and chamber of commerce, and the development of events that add to the communities vibrancy as well as encourage visitors to spend a bit of time in town are the initiatives foundation. When it comes to tying my name to a sponsor, a project, a fund raiser, or initiative I am a bit picky. With that said, I am proud of my association with this innovative initiative.
Perhaps one of the most exciting projects arising from our partnership is the video series Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek Along Route 66. There have been a few production delays (perfectionism is harsh taskmaster but the reward is worth the wait) but plans are for an invitation only debut on Mach 8. The second video in the series is already on the drawing board. Both of these projects exemplify the unique nature of the Promote Kingman initiative, and give a glimpse at long term plans.
Under limited license the video will be provided to Kingman area tourism and the chamber of commerce, at no charge, to use for area promotion. Sponsors can pride themselves on providing a community service, and they will also get a sizable return on their investment in the promotion of their business as evidenced by the response to the promotional clip. To date this clip has had more than 53,000 views and that is just through the Promote Kingman Facebook page. Long term plans are for the series to be developed as an aid to to the promotional initiatives of other communities.
Then there is the open house series created for Promote Kingman partners. Utilizing social media and similar marketing programs, the first open house at Gracie’s Vintage garnered interaction from more than 2,000 people even though attendance at the event itself was somewhat anemic. The next open house is scheduled for 4:00 on the afternoon of March 15 at Black Bridge Brewery.
Exemplifying the focus on the development of community partnerships was the recent Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live Friday morning program where Jason Millin of the Kingman Area Chamber, and Steve LeSueur of MyMarketing Designs, the developer of Promote Kingman. Even though Promote Kingman is often billed as the chamber of commerce for the 21st century this program showed that a more apt descriptor would be that the initiative is a support structure for the chamber of commerce.
As the Promote Kingman family of partners continues to grow, as the innovative programs develop, as the scope of the initiatives reach grows, it will be interesting to see the affect it has in a community that is having a few growing pains. It will also be interesting to see how the family of partners harnesses changing times to transform a secret into a destination.