The creator of the paid Route 66 Navigation app announced this week the app’s routes through Kingman, Arizona, and Cuba, Missouri, have been adjusted so they could “deliver travelers the best experience on historic Route 66.”
Marian Pavel, CEO of Slovakia-based Touch Media, also said he soon would adjust routes through Albuquerque and St. Louis to make the trip more pleasurable and help Route 66 businesses there.
A news release explained the app’s adjustment of its routes through Kingman and Cuba:
One example is the inclusion of Beale Street in Kingman, Arizona, one block north of Route 66 (Andy Devine Avenue) that is at the heart of the city’s historic district renaissance. Art galleries, microbreweries, an eclectic array of restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars and interesting shops that are often overlooked by Route 66 travelers will be given a promotional boost with the app adjustment. The decision was made to adjust the app after Marian Pavel of Touch Media toured Kingman with author Jim Hinckley, Touch Media consultant, and met with Vice Mayor Travis Lingenfelter at a meeting facilitated by Hinckley.
Hinckley who has been developing marketing initiatives in partnership with the tourism office and business owners in Cuba, Missouri is also working with Touch Media to adjust the app to include Main Street in downtown Cuba. This street, one block off Route 66, is also often overlooked by Route 66 travelers even though it is lined with a bakery and deli, restaurants and other businesses. With the adjustment, travelers will be encouraged to discover businesses along the Route 66 corridor including Missouri Hick Barbeque, Wagon Wheel Motel, Shelly’s Cafe and The Fourway as well as those on Main Street such as Rivera Maya and Frisco’s Grill.
Here is a screenshot of the app’s new route through Kingman. Note the app continues to mark significant stops on Route 66, even when the new route veers away from them:
In an email, Pavel elaborated on what he hopes to accomplish with the eventual adjusted routes for St. Louis and Albuquerque:
When we selected the routes for the app, we did our best after we studied various resources, where the routes were in the history. But especially for St. Louis I think we can optimize them better than they are today to show people more from this beautiful city. Westbound, we navigate people via N Tucker Blvd, and my goal is to change the route to show them more from downtown, now they miss Eat Rite Diner, cross the Choteau Ave, etc. I’d like to discuss it with local Route 66 enthusiasts and find better routes. It will take some time, so I want to wait with the changes until we’ll be sure that they are helpful and attractive enough for travelers.
In ABQ, there is a different issue. Primarily, we navigate people thru Santa Fe Loop (with small detour to Las Vegas, NM), and from Santa Fe, we follow I-25 to ABQ, then we navigate people to Los Lunas and then back to Route 66 near Laguna. It means that they mostly miss Central Ave and also a section of Route 66 west of ABQ. I started to consider change it, but I need to find a reasonable way how to navigate people thru ABQ to Central Ave and then to old Route 66 outside the city to the west. Los Lunas Loop will be moved to alternative Route B in the app.
Pavel pledged upon the launch of the Route 66 Navigation app nearly 18 months ago he would try to help Route 66 businesses. With this initiative and the Route 66 Passport program, it appears he’s keeping his promise. Such efforts also add more value to the app.
(Screenshot image of the Route 66 Navigation app’s new path through Kingman, Arizona, courtesy of Marian Pavel)