Last week the wife and I took a little drive out to the airport area to see what all the hubbub was about concerning the building of a mall. After viewing the area and considering the matter, I can’t figure out why the big push to do it.
I live in Golden Valley and have shopped and done business both here and in Kingman. In the two plus years I have been here, I have grown to like Kingman and would like to see the best for the town. That’s why I’m writing this view point.
Let’s face it folks, call a spade a spade. The population of Kingman is mostly retired folks, people on welfare, druggies and a smattering of local working people. There are some well-to-do neighborhoods, but not many.
So if a mall was to be built, who would patronize the shops in the mall? It would only be those who could afford it. Would there be enough of them to support the businesses in the mall? Probably not.
My crystal ball tells me that within a few years, most businesses would leave the mall and you couldn’t count on the tourists to spend at the mall because they are here for the MOTHER ROAD, Route 66. I wish I had a dollar for every business that displays a Route 66 sign of one kind or another. The tourists are here to see Route 66, old cars and hot rods.
I recently learned of Route 66 clubs in Japan, Sweden and Europe.
When you ask someone from another state why they visited here, they will tell you The ROAD. They didn’t come here to shop at a mall.
Kingman has a great tourist attraction, a one of a kind. People come here just to say they drove on The ROAD. While they are here, they spend money. They stay overnight, and the next day they spend more money.
If the Kingman portion of Route 66 was improved, and I’m not talking patch work, think of how many abandoned buildings would be filled with new businesses. This town would come alive again.
Concerning abandoned buildings, maybe the city council could relax a few building code requirements to let the owners of the Hotel Beale and Brunswick Hotel complete restoration of these historic old hotels. More tourists, more money, something for the City Fathers to think about.
Why not encourage businesses to come to Kingman and fill the many vacant commercial properties that are already here instead of building and incredibly expensive mall. Let’s save money and use what is already available.
Here’s a thought: Why not use the money that would have been spent on the mall to improve the horrific condition of The ROAD itself.