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Route 66 News

Meteor City Trading Post may have a savior

A couple from Indiana on Monday officially acquired the long-closed and vandalized Meteor City Trading Post west of Winslow, Arizona, and plan to restore and reopen the Route 66 landmark.

Meteor City closed in 2012 and soon became ransacked. It looked so bad in the last few years, even the most optimistic Route 66 enthusiasts doubted it could be resurrected.

In step Micheal and Joann Brown, who have lived in Jeffersonville, Indiana, for decades but grew up in California and often made trips west to visit friends and relatives. The couple also loved the Route 66 lore of the Southwest, especially nearby Two Guns, Arizona, and wanted to get away from their corporate jobs. They began looking for property in Arizona.

“We wanted to be back in the West,” Joann summarized during a telephone interview Wednesday.

The Browns kept talking with Meteor City’s owners. Joann said every time they began to have doubts about the wisdom of pursuing the property, strange little coincidences quickly occurred in Indiana — such as seeing a vehicle right in front of them with Arizona plates — that convinced them they were on the right track.

Now that they have the property, Joann says the first priority is to board up the doors and re-erect a fence around the property to secure it from scavengers and vandals. After the property’s structures shored up, then the restoration will begin.

Don’t count on the resurrected Meteor City Trading Post to be another outpost for Native American crafts at it was previously. Joann wants to take it another direction.

“We want to go back in time. We are opening it back to the way it was,” she said, adding she wants to return the distinctive geodesic dome to its original white color with a lighting-bolt flourish. “We want it to be a time capsule of Two Guns, of the other trading posts that once were there. We want Route 66 to be a fabled attraction.”

She added a section of the store might be devoted to the 1984 Jeff Bridges film “Starman,” where a scene was shot there.

Joann says another priority is to bring back the Justice of the Peace building on the premises, which is behind one of the wall.

As for artist Bob Waldmire’s World’s Longest Map of Route 66 on a fence, Joann said she’d love to restore it, too, but she’s having trouble tracking down complete photos of it to do so.

Joann said she initially hoped to reopen Meteor City Trading Post by summer but realizes that is highly ambitious. She said she still needs to set up a business plan, but she says can generate income through her current job by working remotely online.

Meteor City’s dome has been there since 1979, but its days as a roadside business go back further than that. A gas station operated on that site on U.S. 66 starting in 1938. The business itself has gone through several expansions and reconstructions after fires.

In the meantime, Meteor City Trading Post can be followed on Facebook.

(Image of Meteor City Trading Post in 2006 by Joe Wolf via Flickr)

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24 thoughts on “Meteor City Trading Post may have a savior

  1. Tex

    I, along with thousands of others, probably have photos of that map. I first went by in 2003 and I took pictures of everything west of OKC for several years after that too. If she reads this and wants me to check, email me at [email protected]. I remember the owner, who was very kind to me and I showed him a little book on 66 I was thinking about making and selling to the little shops. He was the first to put in an order and the next year I took some to him and he bought them. I think he lived there and his kids were around and playing. I think the concept of making that place old time original again is perfect. It takes a good eye and attention to detail to do it right. I hope they love it and make it a must stop. Part of the problem with the spot was it was just a bit out of the way. It needs to look good enough on the outside to make us exit and drive the short distance down the side road. I think I went a few times and i couldn’t count on it being open and quit taking the time to see. A big tall “open” indicator would help. And you get all this advice for free. Spring is bringing out my wanderlust.

  2. David prine

    This would be so Awesome.
    I drive by this place sometimes everyday & it makes me sick to see in this shape & I am happy that it will have new LIFE AGAIN.

  3. James R Potter

    Great to know this property will someday once again be a shining star in Arizona. Restoring this property and other’s along the old road makes sense.

  4. Keith Z

    Thank you Micheal and Joann for saving it!!! Can’t wait to stop by in a year or so on our next trip out.

    1. ed rogers

      i hope they can make a living off it . years ago my x wife worked o ut there when karl kempton owned it. then he sold it a friend . i dont know where it went from there. i thought it was still open .

  5. Frank Kocevar

    Good news. I am sure that there will be support from the community. We look forward to meeting the new owners and wish them well. Thanks for the good news.

    1. Joann Brown

      Thank you Frank and yes the community has been so welcoming. Clean up date scheduled for the week of April the 24th

  6. Tonya Pike

    Welcome Aboard, Micheal and Joann!! I think you will find the Route 66 Community to be most welcoming and willing to help however they can. I also see that Mike Ward welcomed Joann to the Yahoo Route 66 E-group this morning as well. Glad to have you along! Please be sure to keep us updated on your progress and whatever you need, like photos, etc., as you start your work to resurrect Meteor City! Can’t wait to get to visit when you get reopened!

    1. Joann Brown

      Thank you Tonya we are so over joyed to be part of such a great group of people. Clean up starts next week April 24th 2017

  7. redforkhippie

    I would be honored to donate my vacation time next year to restore/recreate Bob’s work. (But this time around, let’s give the mural a proper sealing to protect it from marauding vandals, monsoon season, and the wind-blown particles that have a way of sandblasting anything that’s exposed to the ravages of the high desert.)

    1. Joann Brown

      No we would be honored!!! We are still trying to locate Bobs art work on that fence… I can reached at [email protected] or Meteor City Trading Post Official Site on FB please contact me. Thank you

    2. Joann Brown

      No we would be honored!!! We are still trying to locate Bobs art work on that fence… I can reached at [email protected] or Meteor City Trading Post Official Site on FB please contact me. Thank you

  8. Pingback: Meteor City, AZ - Want to See A Hole In the Ground? - The Historic Route 66

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