Volunteers, NM Route 66 Association begin restoration of neon signs in Tucumcari

A group of volunteers and members of the New Mexico Route 66 Association began efforts Thursday and Friday to restore nail-damaged neon tubing on historic signs along Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Among the signs worked on were TeePee Curios, Del’s Restaurant, La Cita restaurant, Motel Safari and Loretta’s Burrito Hut.

Fast TV Network shot footage of the repairs for an upcoming episode of “Legends of Route 66.” Neon expert Paul Greenstein flew in from Los Angeles to help.

The Blue Swallow Motel repaired its neon the week before. The motel and TeePee Curios lent a hand and bucket truck for the project.

Fast TV posted some photos from the work:

In all, about a dozen signs were affected by the historic May 25 storm that brought baseball-size hail.

The nonprofit association launched a GoFundMe online campaign several months ago to repair Tucumcari’s neon signs shortly after the storm. It raised more than $6,000.

More about the project from an earlier article in the Quay County Sun (my day job):

The association plans to remove broken tubing, make patterns that will be used by a neon contractor in Amarillo, negotiate prices, bring back the new tubing and install them.

“This plan establishes a single point-of-contact to represent all the neon sign owners in Tucumcari in transactions with neon vendors,” the association stated. “As is the case with federal grants the association has received in the past, the association will require up to a 50% cash or in-kind match from sign owners.

“The result we hope to achieve is that the sign owners would be able to have their signs restored with only the outlay of 50% of the cost of glass fabrication.

The association stated it estimates the initiative will require “several months” to complete.

Longtime New Mexico Route 66 booster Johnnie Meier and Tucumcari MainStreet also assisted with the project.

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