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Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

5/6/2014 6:02:00 AM
Route 66 Festival planning stagnates
Will Kingman be ready by August?

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Controversy has seeped into the fevered efforts to ready Kingman for the International Route 66 Festival in August.

The City Council at tonight's meeting will be asked to provide about $50,000 in room tax funds - money the Tourism Development Commission failed to approve last week.

The tourism commission conducted a "very long meeting" but requested more information and postponed a possible decision until the group's June meeting, City Manager John Dougherty wrote in a strongly worded summary to Mayor Janet Watson and Council members.

A decision in June is too late, he said.

"We, the city, are going to be the host of the festival whether we are ready or not," he said. "A strong group of volunteers, spearheaded by the (Chamber of Commerce), has taken the initiative and kept what was headed for a train wreck on the tracks."

Dougherty said planning for the festival - which is held in a different city along Route 66 each summer and attracts thousands of tourists - should have begun a year ago, "but we are where we are and now must make the best of the situation we are left with."

Dougherty said if the City Council refuses to provide the funds, festival plans would have to be scaled back significantly.

In a related matter, the Council could approve a contract with T.R. Orr to make improvements to a number of downtown intersections and to install a so-called "quiet zone" that will allow trains to safely roll through downtown without having to blast their sirens.

In other items of interest:

• Public hearings will be held regarding the city's plans to apply for more than $580,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds and the city's tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

• The Council could award a bid to Lantis Productions to put on this year's Fourth of July fireworks show at the fairgrounds.

The company was the only firm to place a bid - $25,000, which is slightly less than what the Kingman Boomers collected in donations from the community.

The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers, 310 N. 4th St.

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Related Stories:
• $20K approved for Route 66 Festival
• Route 66 Festival planning has 'issues,' but organizers still upbeat
• Vintage electric cars to join Kingman's Route 66 celebration
• Goal: Finish downtown 'quiet zone' before Route 66 fest hits Kingman
• It's official: Kingman lands Route 66 Festival

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"You flat earthers really need to learn what you are saying before you spew your rhetoric... Come on, do a little research beyond the Miner and your Voodo dolls."

Well you've convinced me with your sweet-talk and mother wit.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Jim lawson

Special events should not be the driving force to make Kingman an inviting town to spend some time visiting. Our city council must stop looking on the revenue the event(s) bring in but focus on beautification of the area year round, yes 365 day a year Kingman should be inviting to anyone passing thru and the revenue will follow.
There is no reason other than good Kingman leadership why we are not ready for the Route 66 Festival, we should have been ready months ago.
Let's not do any finger pointing just get our act together, Kingman.
And one last item I see many references to the GOOD OLD BOYS, who are these people?

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Avg Joe

Come on council, do screw this up!

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Come On

You flat earthers really need to learn what you are saying before you spew your rhetoric. The money proposed is collected from bed tax and is dedicated to funding this type of event. It can not be spent on roads. Come on, do a little research beyond the Miner and your Voodo dolls.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Tourism should pay for tourism

@Spending on Tourism is Wrong

You do realize this money does not come from you? It comes from tourists and bed tax. I say let tourism pay for tourism! If the 5000 people come to the area, can you imagine the money in food, drinks, retail, rooms etc that the city gets taxes off of and the local businesses make money? I'm sure each person will spend more than $10.00 each for a day OR two. It is a win win for the City!

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Hughes Davidson

Leadership. We have been lacking coherent and consistent (and brave) leadership. People (including the City Council) will follow a true, caring, capable leader. There are many examples of inspirational mayors who have turned cities around and made them true gems. This requires will and guts...and a true vision, coupled with a passion, to make a difference and see it through. Do our current mayoral candidates possess these qualities? I don't know. One key make a huge difference. All current and future local elected officials should take an honest self-inventory as to what their motivation is for getting involved. This city needs a real leader who is willing to firmly take the reins and get us out of this incessant stagnation. Make no mistake, those that are complacent with the way things are will get their feathers ruffled and display resistance. These people should be thanked for their fine service and politely be asked to leave.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Spending on Tourism is Wrong

$50,000! Fifty thousand dollars that could be used to improved the roads. Fifty thousand dollars would starve off problems down the road for salaries, equipment, supplies. But I have no doubt the council will fork over our money. The real reason it will be such a forgone conclusion is the tourism companies - gas stations, restaurants, hotels own this town. I have to chuckle since these companies and their political cronies talk tourism, tourism, tourism. You hear Kingman, a hub for area tourism. Some hub - seldom do you see any mention of Kingman in the Arizona Highways magazine, or other tourism brochures . But remember we must spend all this money because we are such a tourism hub. Hogwash - just another way of the owners of these companies getting rich at our expensive.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Depressing sight

I've only been living in Kingman about eight years now. Five of those years downtown within floor shaking distance from the tracks in 80 year old housing.

The only time in my life more depressing was when I lived in southeastern Michigan in the early eighties. When the ghetto ended up a quarter mile from my front door I found a way out.

I felt the same when I moved out of downtown Kingman. The sun became brighter and the morning started with more smiles than I had known for along time.

I like many things about downtown. However, living there was very draining and depressing. It's a visit in small dose kind of place, hit the shiney places, then move on. It will anyways survive simply because, It will never be a tourist mecca. After a hundred years it is what it is and always was. A past thru, supply depot, take a short rest stop, look at the pretty mountains, buy a post card, then finish the western trip somewhere else.

It's worth the funding. Not worth millions on band aids to cover up. The profits will exceed the funding even on the worst weekend so whats the loss?.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Just saying

Well, its not taxpayers money its bed tax to be used on tourism. This could bring in more sales tax, bed tax and food tax so just give them the money and help turn this event into a success. If council turns it down then they only caved in to the few.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: joker wilde

The Beale Hotel has languished in near-run for almost 20 years businesses come and go and many downtown businesses lack even a coat of paint. I don't think this city cares. It is stagnating as much as the festival plans. Too bad!

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: A Giant Shame

Isn't it just a giant shame that the City couldn't manage to beautify and keep the City of Kingman presentable all through the years for those of us who live here? Instead, the 66 Committee is frantically trying to pull something together that would, ordinarily, take far more than a year and asking tax payers to foot the bill. Personally, I will receive nothing of value out of the 66 Fiasco- except maybe seeing a few potted plants on the corners of downtown Kingman where I go - oh, let's say once a month or less. Perhaps merchants who will cash in on it should chip in their share if they want crowds of people to patronize their businesses.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Null

Great missed opportunities!!
What a shame to allow the good ole boys to influence the decisions and play a part in losing the funding!!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Not Surprised

Raise your hand if you're surprised.Who applied for this festival anyway? Did they have even a cursory plan in place when they submitted an application? Do they even have a plan now? If the tourism commission had questions, the Council better have more.

What about partnering with Grand Canyon Tourism, as suggested by someone below? Did anyone apply for any type of grant (I found a few with 10 seconds effort on Google). How about sponsorships from our larger corporations, like McKee Foods? Why hasnt the newspaper played a bigger role in drumming up community support?

Unfortunately, the city set a precedent with its Bluegrass festival donation. Someone on the council needs to step up, admit that that was a mistake and put their foot down. I am tired of them giving away our money while giving us the same song and dance about cutting public safety and city services.

This will be another opporunity lost for Kingman. That's a shame.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: what is best for the City?

Tourism committee doesn't want to give the money? Council do what is best for the city and give the money so the festival will be a success. It is on your shoulders if it is a failure. The money is for tourism and that is what the festival is focused on. Don't listen to one or two people on tourism to make a decision, give them the money because if you dont' it will only go to be put into the Powerhouse which should be closed down. Do what is right to make this festival a success.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: R .

In the meantime, we're 3 months away from the Festival and everything looks as shabby as it did before and nothing's been done, other than some white paint being slathered onto the old locomotive downtown!
Kingman is going to be a laughing stock!

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Hmmm. They can't approve 50k for an entire event that will bring visitors that could potentially bring business to a great many companies here (restaurants, hotels, gas stations, Kmart, Walmart, the museum, etc etc etc). But they can give 20k to a winery for a blue grass festival. Yes I think the good ole boys are still in business.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Skip Poole

To me this is not a big surprise...
Let's face it, the political and economic nightmare in this country and our little slice of Arizona does not encourage anyone to plan a party, so to speak.
At this time the finacial burdens places on the community and the citizens dictates that our local government pinch every penny.
A vast majority of us will never reap the benefits of the Route 66 celebration. I personally prefer that our tax dollars be used more wisely, like relieving the congestion on Stockton Hill Road or the I-40 Interchange with US 93.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Jim lawson

Kingman knew about this last year and did nothing to prepare for the August event. Every time I drive thru the downtown area I see no improvements. The Kingman city council and Tourism Development Commission seem to work in a CRISIS or REACT mode rather than do any advanced planning. It's a shame as Kingman is a crossroad to many larger cities and we do nothing to improve the area and get some of the traffic to spend a day or two or more visiting our great area.

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Article comment by: Carol Ann Rivera-Miller

Hmmm. Wondered why all meetings & communications came to a screeching halt! Please know that all interested businesses in the outlying areas enroute to Route 66 are still enthusiastic a bout sharing this part of the country. Have the Hualapai's offered assistance for Kingman to accomplish their goals? Since school is ending for summer, why not ask students to assist in preparations? Please know, you can count on many to get this event established! Keep the "heat" outside, not in the planning room. As a Travel Center in Dolan Springs, we are excited about getting increased traffic to share other attractions.

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