Another year is about to become an historic footnote,
and a new year filled with promise is about to unfold. It is a time for reflection, for meditation, and for the planning that prevents making the same mistake twice. In the last post we touched on some of the highlights from 2017, and a couple of low points. Now, let’s turn our attention toward 2018.
The Route 66 Association has expansive plans for expanding on their public arts initiative, neon sign projects, graffiti clean up projects, and international network for Kingman area promotion. They are also looking to expand the scope of their monthly “meet & greet” events that were conceived as a means to foster development of community awareness. In addition, support has been pledged that will enable author Jim Hinckley to attend select events and market Kingman.
Scott McCoy, owner of The Gold Doctor, has kicked off a project that, in 2018, will transform Locomotive Park into a Christmas light wonderland. As a bonus, it will be another project that fosters development of a sense of community. When linked with the annual Parade of Lights developed by the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association, Kingman could become a holiday destination for visitors in 2018. McCoy is also working on building a coalition to bring another sign project to fruition, a welcome to Kingman sign designed with assistance of Route 66 associations in Europe and Japan.
The sign will be a welcome addition to the Route 66 corridor. Even though it lacks the long term promotional possibilities of the abandoned Route 66 walk of fame project, the sign will be a major step in further development of international partnerships.
In 2017, Steve LeSueur of MyMarketing Designs launched several projects designed to help businesses thrive in the modern era. From Master Class programs that provided business owners with the basic tools needed to harness the power of social media marketing, to the “Disrupt” program that offered a simple, modern, functional website at no charge the eye was on building a promotional network for the area. For 2018, LeSueur has launched the most ambitious project to date, a website for your business designed and launched in just 24 hours. The My 24 Website initiative will transform the way a business promotes their business to the world.
John McEnulty of the Grand Canyon Caverns closed out the year with some pretty amazing developments that netted some expansive publicity for the area. This included the opening of the Caverns Grotto restaurant, the transformation of Antares Point Route 66 Visitor Center into a destination, and facilitated by Jim Hinckley, the caverns becoming a lunch stop for a number of international and domestic tour companies. Now, in 2018, he is opening a restaurant in Seligman, adding upgrades to the camp grounds, developing partnerships with bicycling organizations such as Adventure Cycling, and expanding on available tours as well as other amenities at the caverns. In late December it was learned that author Anne Slanina will be including the caverns in the next book in the Annie Mouse series.
The reputation of artist Gregg Arnold is growing, and his gallery as well as displays of his work are becoming destinations. Perhaps the most notable of these is Giganticus Headicus, at Antares Point Route 66 Visitor Center. In 2017, he accepted the commission to craft a display table for the diorama created by Dutch artist Willem Bor. This model, also on display at Antares Point, and the one on display in the showroom of the historic Dunton Motors dream Machines facility, headquarters for the Route 66 Association of Kingman, have already become destination stops for Route 66 enthusiasts, and are being included in the 2018 European Route 66 tour.
Gregg Arnold, and Steve LeSueur of MyMarketing Designs, has partnered with author Jim Hinckley in the development of the weekly Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live program that showcases event organizers, business owners, and community leaders. The program has proven to be quite popular, and each week the international reach grows. In ten months the program reached more than 79,000 people! Now, with the launch of a crowdfunding initiative that will enable acquisition of upgraded equipment, there are plans being developed for expansion of the initiative in 2018.
As an example, Barbara Charon, owner of The Farmhouse and a community development leader has proposed a weekly live program from area restaurants. There are also plans for a 21-day, 21 live interview series along the Route 66 corridor from Los Angeles to Chicago, and from the second European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic as a request has been made for Jim Hinckley to attend the event and distribute promotional materials as well as answer questions.
Ken Conaway, Gene Kirkham, and the Route 66 Cruizers have worked tirelessly to develop Chillin on Beale as an event that attracts participants and visitors from throughout the county as well as northern Arizona. In 2017, this included linking the event with the arrival of Craig Parish’s Route 66 Motor Tour, the organization of coinciding cruises to Grand Canyon Caverns, and a fund raising initiative launched by the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation for the expansion or relocation of the electric vehicle museum.
The Route 66 Cruizers, Scott McCoy, the Promote Kingman initiative, and other organizations and individuals have recently come together to facilitate development and expansion of the electric vehicle museum. This is also an attempt to ensure the museum remains in Kingman even though other communities have made overtures to the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation for its relocation. Recently a donor in Los Angeles donated more than a dozen vehicles for the museums expansion. As the collection has already outgrown the current facility, a suitable storage facility was arranged by this grassroots coalition.
These are just a few of the exciting developments that promise to make 2018 a year of dramatic and exciting developments in Kingman. And we haven’t even discussed plans or contributions made by business owners or community leaders like Jessica Deihl, Sarah Elizabeth, Sara Peterson, and Tim Schritter.