Chevrolet was the import that became an American icon.

Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss born mechanic and race car driver, and by 1910, was one of the most famous people in America. However, it was the marketing acumen of William Durant, founder of GM, that transformed the Chevrolet name into a brand recognized throughout the world.

The desert little crossroads of Kingman that thousands of people had passed through on the way to somewhere else on the National Old Trails Highway, and then U.S. 66, was given international name recognition when it was forever linked to Route 66 in a little song by crooner Nat King Cole that soared to the top of the music charts. Today it is one of the most recorded songs in history, and it has provided Kingman with a name recognition that many communities spend tens of thousands of marketing dollars in an attempt to equal.

Route 66, however, is but one component in a stunning list of marketable assets that could, conceivably, transform Kingman into one of the most popular destinations in the southwest. Recently the Kingman Daily Miner published an article about this untapped potential, and touched on the possible economic impact to the community by quoting Bill Thomas of Atlanta, Illinois, a small farming community that has witnessed a trans-formative miracle in recent years.

Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta, Illinois. Photo courtesy Jim Hinckley’s America

Though it is quite dated now, several years ago Rutgers University published an extensive study about the economic impact of Route 66 related tourism, historic district revitalization, and heritage tourism. That report, which is in the process of being updated, served as catalyst for revitalization and economic development in several communities, none of which had the array of assets that Kingman has available for marketing.

First, we have a climate that allows for twelve months of tourism. Communities such as Atlanta have nine months at best resultant of harsh winters. Second, in addition to Route 66, Kingman is located on the western edge of the most popular destination in the United States, a ring of attractions and national parks marketed as the Grand Circle. Third, the American southwest consistently rates as a top destination for area travelers. Last, but not least, underlying the resurgent interest in Route 66 is heritage tourism, a catch all phrase for tourism that allows the traveler to have an authentic experience. In this category, as an example, you would have Chillin’ on Beale, the Route 66 Fun Run, Colorado River rafting, spelunking tours at Grand Canyon Caverns, Hualapai heritage events, and the rodeo. Added to this we have miles of hiking and mountain bike trails, four wheeling opportunities, ghost towns, a wildlife sanctuary that is a top birding location, Hualapai Mountain Resort, and numerous sites associated with celebrities and the filming of major motion pictures.

And that takes us to Promote Kingman, an initiative designed to provide partners with international exposure with minimal expense. It also magnifies the marketing programs developed by the chamber of commerce and tourism. In short, Promote Kingman is the portal for introducing the world to the wonders of Kingman, and introducing Kingman to a world of potential.