Grand Canyon Caverns is leasing a property in Antares, Arizona, best-known for Giganticus Headicus — an Easter Island-type sculpture — and opening a Route 66 visitors center there.
According to a news release from the Grand Canyon Caverns owner John McEnulty, the site will become known as the Route 66 Antares Visitor Center.
Scheduled for a soft opening by November 1, plans are to transform the facility into an information center for the Route 66 corridor in western Arizona with a convenience store, gift shop, art gallery, small restaurant, and picnic area, all with beautiful views of the desert valley, before next spring.
The Route 66 Antares Visitors Center sits 40 miles west of Grand Canyon Caverns on a big curve on the original alignment of Route 66. The site also sits about 21 miles northeast of Kingman.
Artist Gregg Arnold owns the property. He built the 14-foot-tall Giganticus Headicus in 2004 at the former site of the Kozy Corner Trailer Court and the Ranchero Motel and has other artwork there.
McEnulty said Arnold and his sculptures — including Giganticus Headicus — would stay at the property. In fact, Arnold will have a section of the gift shop, and Grand Canyon Caverns plans to improve the art garden.
“We need his art and spirit at Antares,” McEnulty wrote.
In the late 1920s or early 1930s, Walter Peck began offering tours to the caverns, which are near Peach Springs, Arizona. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration agreed with Peck to build a new entrance to the Caverns. It’s been a Route 66 attraction ever since.