Sign designating Powerhouse an attraction installed

A sign designating Kingman's Powerhouse Visitor Center a Route 66 Roadside Attraction was installed Saturday during the 16th annual Route 66 Fun Run.

The Powerhouse is one of 55 attractions that will be recognized by Hampton Inns along Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif.

Representatives of Hampton Inns said the caravan installing the signs set the Kingman date so that the sign would go up during the Fun Run.

"The Fun Run is the only event along the road that will be happening during the actual presentation by Hampton Inns," said Laura Stevens, director of operations for the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.

"They built the schedule around our May event."

Jim Conkle, coordinator for the caravan said, he took the May 3 date in Kingman and counted back to decide when to begin the operation from California.

"Everything else had to fall in line with the Fun Run in Kingman," Conkle said.

Kingman City Manager Roger Swenson nominated the Powerhouse and the Route 66 Museum for the recognition.

Route 66 Queen Kristine Best of Truxton joined Kingman Councilmen Ray Lyons and Frank McVey during the ceremony when the signs were accepted by the city and the Route 66 association.

Best will represent the association at other events until next May.

Hampton Inns organized the program after a survey of customers asked what could be done to improve enjoyment of highway travel.

Preservation of historic roadside attractions topped the list.

Hampton rolled out the project with a story in USA Today that generated "tons of response," project coordinator Toni Walsh said.

A documentary film is being shot as the caravan makes the 66-day trip across the country installing the signs at roadside attractions.

The caravan installed a sign in Oatman on Sunday.

Stops in Flagstaff, the Snow Cap restaurant in Seligman and Grand Canyon Caverns were scheduled for this week.

Hampton Inns, a division of Hilton Hotels, will publish a guide and advertise the roadside attractions on a Web site.

The Powerhouse was deeded to the city in January, and city officials are meeting with other organizations to determine how the Powerhouse, the Route 66 Museum and the visitor center operated by the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce for the city can be a gateway for area tourism.

The Hampton Inn program is another way to inform people of reasons to stop and stay in Kingman.