At least once or twice each year I travel Route 66 from end to end

Author Jim Hinckley speaking on tourism and economic development in Las Vegas, New Mexico

and on each trip there are formal and informal meetings with city managers, community organizers, chamber of commerce directors, tourism directors, economic development directors, and small business owners. Increasingly these trips include the making of presentations on the importance of linking tourism with economic development planning. More often than not these presentations and subsequent periods of discussion center on the Route 66 renaissance and how to utilize it as a catalyst for economic development, for igniting historic business district revitalization, and for fostering development of a sense of community.

As a result, when it comes to community development, I have a rather unique perspective. So, I say this without reservation – Kingman has the greatest undeveloped potential of any community along the Route 66 corridor. I would be willing to take that observation one step further and say that this community also has the most potential of any community in the southwest. Simply put, in Kingman opportunity is not only knocking, it is pounding on the door.

So, where do we begin? How do we transform opportunity into positive development? How do we harness opportunity and use it to power long term community transformation? The process has already begun, we are taking advantage of opportunity and transforming Kingman into a place people want to visit, to live, to open businesses, and to retire. Pick most any evening of the week, and venture downtown to the historic business district for dinner or a drink. The vibrancy is palpable, and the enthusiasm and passion of business owners is infectious.

So, as a community, let’s take advantage of opportunity, let’s build partnerships, and let’s promote Kingman. 

This July the city of Shamrock is hosting the Texas Welcomes the World Route 66 Festival. Working with event organizers I have arranged for the creation of a Route 66 information booth for the distribution of promotional materials for community’s and businesses. I have also negotiated special advertising rates for the official event book which will also be distributed at various locations by the Texas Route 66 Association. You can contact me for advertising rate information. If you have rack cards or other promotional materials to send, this is the shipping address.

Shamrock Chamber Office, 207 N. Main Street Shamrock, TX 79079 Attention Connie, for Jim Hinckley  66.

In August, the second European Route 66 Festival will take place in Zlin, Czechia. Here too arrangements have been made for the creation of a Route 66 information booth. If you have promotional materials such as rack cards for the booth at this festival, this is the shipping address.

Zdenek Jurasek, Na Kopci, 5350 76001, Zlin Czech Republic

There are additional opportunities associated with these events. I have been asked to assist at the travel booths to answer questions. Additionally, I will be making a presentation on Route 66 in the southwest, and showing the Kingman area promotional videos produced by MyMarketing Designs with partial funding from Kingman area tourism. To cover the cost associated with transportation to these events, and to develop other promotional opportunities such as the weekly Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live programs and pending presentations at events in Illinois and Oklahoma, I have initiated solicitation of sponsors and launched a crowdfunding initiative. With that said, I need to thank Jim Flynn of Kingman Chevrolet-Buick, Kari Jo Hill of 66 Auto Sales, Victoria Todd of Victoria’s Sugar Shack, Sarah Elizabeth at Southwest Trading Company, Scott McCoy of the Gold Doctor, Scott Dunton of the Route 66 Association of KIngman, John McEnulty of Grand Canyon Caverns, John and Ruthanna Dougherty, and everyone that has contributed to date.

The Bee (website and Facebook page) in Bullhead City has been dormant for quite some time. Details are pending but recently I learned that it is being revitalized in a new and exciting format. Even better, its focus will be county wide. This too represents another tremendous promotional opportunity for Kingman.

On March 10, Promote Kingman is hosting a special historic district walking tour that I will be guiding. Sarah Elizabeth at Southwest Trading Company, in limited partnership is linking a “Meet the Merchant” afternoon with the tour. Full details will be posted on the Promote Kingman Facebook page. Here is an opportunity to introduce friends and neighbors from river communities to Kingman’s exciting renaissance, and to discover a bit of the town’s colorful history.

Opportunity is knocking. This year, let’s answer. This year let’s get excited. This year let’s make Kingman a destination.