KINGMAN - Ramada Inn is tapping into its Route 66 roots and seeking the community's help in creating the city's first full-service Route 66 resort destination.
The motel is sponsoring a photo contest and asking people to share their favorite pictures that capture the essence of the Route 66 experience.
Winning images will be reproduced as prints for display in the motel lounge, lobby, restaurant and rooms to provide a Route 66 ambiance, said Ben Daniels, general manager of Ramada Kingman.
Photographers who submit winning selections will be awarded discount room rates and tour packages. Ramada has partnered with several local tourist attractions to build upon its Route 66 history.
The photo contest shows the latest transformation of the motel property that opened as a Holiday Inn in the mid-1960s, Daniels said.
The grounds have been completely renovated, from the swimming pool to the landscaping, and the restaurant was remodeled and rebranded in late 2014 as Canyon 66 Restaurant and Lounge.
Colorful murals of American icons such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe share space in the lounge with 15 television screens around a full-circle bar.
"We felt this place was being neglected," owner Noble Zubaid told the Daily Miner during the renovation. "We wanted to resurrect it and turn it around. Kingman is a well-known place."
Ramada marketing director Stephen LeSueur said the motel joined with Grand Canyon and Route 66 businesses to better position the property as a resort destination.
"The primary differences in hotels, motels and resorts are amenities and concierge services available," he said. "Partnering with other businesses within an hour's drive gives us a wide variety of offerings to entice travelers to stay a little longer in Kingman."
Grand Canyon Caverns, for instance, offers an underground hike through one of the largest dry caves in the world, and will be starting new tours in March that are the result of more than eight years of digging and exploration.
"The principal theory is to have our travelers enjoy the wonders of our area. Instead of Kingman being a pass-through city to destinations surrounding it, we want to make it the destination," LeSueur said.
What's in a name - or a logo?
KINGMAN - A group of Route 66 stakeholders is holding a contest to create a name and logo for its new organization, which is being called "Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative."
The Route 66 group has been working for two years to establish an organization dedicated to fostering collaboration among all Route 66 stakeholders, which include Route 66 associations, tourism officials, businesses, educators and preservationists.
Its mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national icon for the benefit of all communities, travelers, businesses and attractions along the highway.
The group, facilitated by the World Monuments Fund and National Park Service, is looking to form collaborative partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research, education and economic development.
The goal of the contest is to identify an easy-to-remember name and a quickly recognizable logo that reflect the mission of the Road Ahead Initiative and assist in efforts to market the organization.
For guidelines and rules of the contest, go to https://sites.google.com/site/66roadahead. The deadline for application is April 18.
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