The Powerhouse Visitors Center in Kingman, Arizona, late last month finished $250,000 in remodeling officials believe will increase the facility’s revenue.
The Kingman Daily Miner reported the city funded the renovations, along with contributions from the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. The same contractor, T.R. Orr, performed initial renovations on the facility 20 years ago.
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Work included a new welcome desk at the Arizona Route 66 Museum, additional lighting, signage, store displays, new office and storage space, and one of the largest Arizona highway maps in the state, along with brochures from some 100 Arizona towns and attractions in newly installed brochure racks.
The remodel will help to increase revenue at the gift shop, which had been quite limited by space, Noble said. The gift shop will be able to carry more products.
The gift shop grossed $109,000 in 2016, a 31-percent increase from the previous year after buying old bookshelves from the closed Hastings store and expanding its inventory.
With the added space from the remodel project, gift shop sales are expected to reach $150,000 this year, Noble said.
The report also noted the visitors center tries to offered products that aren’t for sale at other businesses in Kingman to keep from competing against them.
The Powerhouse Visitors Center has greeted more than 2 million people since it reopened in 1997. It once featured a diner that was supplanted by the gift shop. A train store also is gone, although a model train that makes its around around the building survives. It has added the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum and an art gallery by Kingman native Bob Boze Bell.
The Powerhouse, once operated by Desert Power & Light Co., was built between 1907 and 1911 and give electricity to Kingman and area mines for about three decades. It also supplied power for the construction of Hoover Dam during the 1930s.
(Image from the front of the Powerhouse Visitors Center in Kingman, Arizona, by Debs via Flickr)