Route 66 News

Pacific may use $300,000 in federal coronavirus funds for Red Cedar Inn project

The city of Pacific, Missouri, is considering the use of $300,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds for the closed Red Cedar Inn, which will be converted into a Route 66 visitors center, museum and local genealogy site.

The city announced last month it had awarded a contract to a St. Louis firm for the renovation project.

According to the Washington Missourian about the federal money:

The money can be used for tourism, as well as water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, City Administrator Steve Roth told the board of aldermen at its Tuesday meeting. That means it can be used to help with Red Cedar Inn operations but not with paying the $2.16 million contract approved last month with St. Louis-based Legacy Contracting Group to rehab the one-time landmark Route 66 restaurant into a museum, gift shop and genealogy research center. […]
The city expects to receive $1.3 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.
Roth acknowledged $300,000 is a “fairly good-sized figure” to be used for Red Cedar Inn operations, which include employee salaries, programming and displays at the museum. “But we know it’s going to cost some money to operate the center, especially to get it off the ground,” he said. 

Roth noted tourism revenue in the city was down during 2020 because of the pandemic.

If the $300,000 in federal funds for operations for the Red Cedar Inn is allowed, the city might use that portion for the project for street work or internet broadband instead.

Legacy will stabilize the 3,690-square-foot structure, including making replacements in the log structure, light wood framing and concrete block foundations, plus demolishing the existing north building addition that was added in 1975.

In addition to adding all-new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the existing building, Legacy will build a two-story north building. 

Renovations are slated to begin later this year, with the hope of them being finished in the spring or summer of 2022. Roth has said the city wants the Red Cedar Inn visitors center to be fully operating by Route 66’s 100th anniversary in 2026.

The city purchased the building for $290,000 in 2017 after years of talks with the owners, with the intent of converting it into a visitors center. City officials originally had envisioned reopening it this year, but COVID-19 and other issues delayed it.

The Smith brothers built the restaurant along Route 66 in 1932, then constructed the tavern addition a few years later. Both were made from logs cut from the family farm.

The restaurant and bar were favorites for many travelers on Route 66, including local politicians and baseball legends Dizzy Dean and Ted Williams.

The Red Cedar Inn closed abruptly in 2005 — its owners citing rising insurance costs — not long after its 70th anniversary. It remains on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Image of the Red Cedar Inn in 2004 in Pacific, Missouri, by Original uploader was Kbh3rd (talk) – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Xnatedawgx using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6312740)

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