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Route 66 News

Old Dairy Queen sign in Holbrook endangered

Dairy Queen, Holbrook, AZ

A 50-year-old neon sign at a Dairy Queen restaurant along Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona, is in danger from the chain’s corporate headquarters that wants to replace it with a more modern sign.

David Heward, a Route 66 booster in Holbrook, wrote on the Save the Holbrook Dairy Queen Sign page on Facebook:

Howdy folks! I have just learned that the Dairy Queen Corporation wants the Holbrook DQ franchise owner to take down this great old neon sign… and replace it with some new, plastic monstrosity advertising the new “Grill and Chill”. Personally, I would HATE to see the loss of this great old neon sign that we’ve all known and loved for more than 50 years, and I’m pretty sure many of you feel the same way.

If you’d like to register a complaint with the DQ corporation, call them at 866-793-7582 or 952-830-0200. (Be prepared for a lengthy wait while you listen to a recording about how much they “value your call”. )

One also can sent a message through Dairy Queen’s corporate site here. Heward and Kim Ulmanis also have set up a Change.org petition.

Nick Gerlich, a professor of marketing at West Texas A&M University and a Route 66 enthusiast, weighed in on DQ’s short-sightedness:

But I also think that Dairy Queen (the company) is missing a golden opportunity not only to save one of the few remaining vintage signs (there is another in Mesa AZ still open, and a shuttered one in Albuquerque), but also to exploit it for Marketing gain. Think about it…there is a rare example of an early franchise still operating! Retro cool! Throwback! And it’s on Route 66! Have any of you people seen Cars?

The sign is located at 1004 Navajo Blvd., which is Route 66 in Holbrook.

(Image of the Holbrook Dairy Queen sign by Brian Bennett via Flickr)

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5 thoughts on “Old Dairy Queen sign in Holbrook endangered

  1. Christopher W. Strattan

    This is typical corporate short-sidedness! The old existing sign will attract much more business than any new one simply because it is quaint and brings back fond memories of the old days.

    Does anybody know who LEGALLY owns the sign? Is it Dairy Queen Corporation or is it the franchise owner. I imagine it would be whoever owns the building. If the franchisee owns the building, then I believe he has the legal right to do anything he wants with the existing sign.

    If the sign must come down due to corporate pressure, then the franchise owner should invite all the loyal, long-time customers, Route 66 enthusiasts, city officials, local press, and any and all interested parties to participate in a “sign retiring” ceremony.

    Everyone should help take the sign down and make it a major event. Maybe the local Fire Department could volunteer their ladder truck to help take the sign down. Perhaps the local High School Band could participate. Really make it a positive and festive occasion!!

    Then, they should find a local venue (maybe a museum or one of the local businesses?) to place this beautiful antique sign so that everyone can see and appreciate it, remembering the great times at Dairy Queen in days gone by. Is there such a thing as a Route 66 Museum? If so, maybe the sign should go there.

    This would be a great boost for the town, the franchise owner, and even Dairy Queen Corporation, despite their failure to recognize the value of the existing sign!

    I think Dairy Queen Corporation is missing a golden PR opportunity to create a special event highlighting this great old sign. What do you think?

  2. Pingback: Holbrook Dairy Queen sign allowed to stay - Route 66 News

  3. Michael Brown

    I joined 557 other other people back in late January 2016 in signing a petition sent to the DQ headquarters. We prevailed and in less than two weeks, the corporation reversed their demands that the sign be removed in favor of their newer-generation plastic logo. I am a neon collector and own a fully-restored even earlier version of the famous DQ sign. I wish I could post a photo here! Anyway, I visited the Holbrook, AZ DQ yesterday and am pleased to say it’s still looking good!

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