The Arizona Route 66 passport program received the prestigious Governor’s Tourism Award during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism earlier this month in Phoenix, reported the Williams-Grand Canyon News.
The Arizona Historic Route 66 Passport, spearheaded by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona (Association) on behalf of the Route 66 communities, received the distinguished Cooperative Marketing Award at a luncheon, which recognized 10 individuals and organizations for their best practices, accomplishments, and contributions to the Arizona tourism industry.
The Cooperative Marketing Award is presented to the project that best exemplifies creative partnerships to develop and execute a cooperative marketing initiative. The criteria used by the panel of judges to select the winner included demonstrating an exceptional effort, innovation, uniqueness, effective use of resources, measurable results, and its overall contribution to the tourism industry of Arizona.
According to the Association’s press release, The Historic Route 66 Passport is the first joint marketing effort between all the communities across Arizona’s stretch of Route 66. The Association said while the overall goal for the Passport Program is to increase visitation to the Route 66 communities, attractions, and businesses across northern Arizona, a major objective has been to demonstrate the power of working together (my emphasis).
This “working together” objective on Arizona’s Route 66 is a significant development. The eastern and western halves of the state have long grumbled at each other.
Part of the rancor sprung from the annual Historic Route 66 Fun Run always being held in the western half of the state — never mind that long stretches of unavoidable interstate would make logistics of an eastern Fun Run nearly impossible.
In fact, I received a news release today from Sharlene Fouser, byway leader of the Historic Route 66 All-American Road in Arizona, about a summit on July 21 in Winslow where 50 community leaders from across the state attended. “Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together” was the theme.
The news release also contained a few newsworthy nuggets:
This year two major projects were identified to tie into Arizona’s upcoming Centennial celebration. Planned are a Route 66 Centennial Passport, and a Historic Route 66 Geocaching Project. Both of these projects are designated Arizona Centennial Legacy Projects.
In addition, the 25th Annual Historic Route 66 Fun Run, the Association’s major fundraising event held the first week in May each year, has been designated as an official Arizona Centennial Event.
I haven’t yet received answers to follow-up questions I had for Fouser. Regardless, these are very encouraging developments for Arizona’s portion of the Mother Road.