The Route 66 town of Holbrook, Ariz., is going to tout its Mother Road ties even more in the coming months, including a new festival, according to an article in the Arizona Journal.
The article contained a lot of interesting tidbits about Holbrook and nearby Winslow, Ariz., including these:
- A number of new businesses have popped up along the Route 66 corridor in Winslow in the past year, including Dar’s Route 66 Diner, Route 66 Fizz’ n Cream, Los Maria’s restaurant, Arizona 66 Trading Co., Akoshilláa Sheila! gallery and Arizona Indian Art.
- Hopi Travel Plaza east of Holbrook is transforming its plaza to a Route 66 theme.
- Along the route, Winslow added new sidewalks, new lighting and a Route 66 shield on the roadway at Second Street and Kinsley Avenue.
- A new Route 66 festival, with the theme It Ain’t Your Mother’s Road Anymore, will be in Holbrook in August, right before the International Route 66 Festival in Kingman, Ariz.
And the story implies that movers-and-shakers in Holbrook will encourage businesses to open on Sundays. Numbers at the local visitors center show that is a busy day for tourists, but many places in town are closed. Pontiac, Ill., noting a similar problem, started encouraging its downtown businesses to open on Sundays for the same reason.
The impetus apparently came from the November roundtable for Route 66 stakeholders in Anaheim, Calif., in November and especially the Route 66 Economic Impact Report that documented travelers’ spending. Money talks.
I predicted the report would have a wide-ranging impact on many communities in terms of Route 66 promotions, infrastructure and perception. And it seems that is happening in Holbrook. Due to Holbrook’s proximity to the Petrified Forest National Park, it treated Route 66 respectfully but decidedly a second banana. Now it seems the townsfolk are giving the Mother Road considerably more attention.