It looks like Needles, Calif., is the latest to use murals to beautify a Route 66 town and draw in tourists.
According to the Needles Desert Star, artist Dan Luden of nearby Chloride, Ariz., has completed murals at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, Best Western Colorado River Inn, Gus’ Really Good Jerky building, and a Chevron gas station on Needles Highway. All of the murals depict Route 66 in various ways.
Luden recently finished a second mural for the Chevron gas station on Needles Highway with the help of Vicki Bowden, who has also helped with the other murals. The duo painted the first mural featuring “Peanuts” characters “Snoopy,” “Woodstock” and “Spike,” Snoopy’s brother and Needles resident and outlined the entire historic Route 66.
The second mural is more subdued in color, using a light blue background and old black and white photos as models. […]
The idea was to attract more customers using Route 66 as the attraction and thus far it’s been working, he continued. He’s had several travelers stop at the station to look around and get photos of the murals.
The project has provided such encouraging results, the Needles Downtown Business Alliance may hire Luden to paint a mural at a flood control spillway, between the East Broadway and J Street off Interstate 40. Luden also will paint a mural for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office.