Merchants seek peer support for downtown revitalization

The Kingman Downtown Merchants Association needs a few more good merchants to join.

"Things are beginning to happen in the old downtown," association president Peter Proffit said.

"We need help to expand on the traditional downtown activities."

The association promotes the historic downtown area as a sponsor for the annual parade of Lights, the Yada Yada Parade, the Antique and Arts Fair, set this year for June 7-8, and the KidCare ID program.

Arts fair organizers expect to draw 75 vendors to set up booths along Beale Street and help attract customers to shops.

Additional merchants association projects include maintenance of the trash receptacles provided by the city, benches, welcome banners for downtown light poles and information kiosks.

"We have been active with the city ad hoc committee to renovate downtown for locals and tourists," Proffit said.

"We need more downtown businesses to join and support the efforts."

The Route 66 Association of Kingman and the Downtown Merchants Association are cooperating on projects to lure travelers off Interstate 40 onto the entire length of Route 66 through Kingman.

Proffit said the association would concentrate on the historic downtown while working with merchants all along Route 66.

Two consultants have suggested in separate studies that Route 66 is the main tourist draw for Kingman.

Route 66 connects the west and east I-40 interchanges.

Studies in 1971 and 1988 define the downtown core area from First to Eighth streets and from Pine Street to Beale Street.

"I hope the KDMA can focus on that core while working with the Route 66 group on the larger area," Proffit said.

"More members would sure help."

The city has focused on reviving downtown through an ad hoc committee, funding of two studies, painting and mural projects and support of the KDMA and the Route 66 groups.

The Kingman City Council has provided $66,000 in the current budget for downtown projects.

"The KDMA would focus on smaller projects in the core downtown while Route 66 does the large scope of work," Proffit said.

The downtown merchants association meets at 7:30 a.m.

the first Wednesday of each month at Calico's at 418 W.

Beale St.

Dues are $100 for a business and can be paid quarterly.

Non-profit organizations pay $50 and individuals pay $25 yearly.

Any interested business owner is invited to attend the meetings to get acquainted with the group.

Call 753-2627 ext.

216.

Proffit said the association coordinates adverting, promotes growth and wants the downtown developed as a unique "Heart of Kingman."