KINGMAN – Local Route 66 author and historian Jim Hinckley will talk about “linear communities” that have become a destination along the iconic highway at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Calico’s restaurant.
He will be the featured speaker at the meeting of Kingman Progressive Alliance for Positive Change.
Hinckley has made it his mission to cultivate the Route 66 renaissance and show how it can be harnessed as a catalyst for revitalization of dying downtowns and blighted areas.
He recently spoke to community and business leaders in Tucumcari, New Mexico, about the renaissance, heritage tourism and related potential for economic development.
Hinckley will be traveling to the Miles of Possibilities Conference in Joliet, Illinois on Oct. 20, where he will be speaking on the history of tourism in Kingman and the community’s transformation into a Route 66 destination.
Although Route 66 was decommissioned in the 1980s, it is more popular than at any time in its history, Hinckley said. There are Route 66 associations in Europe, Japan, Brazil, and Australia. In 2016, the first European Route 66 Festival took place in Germany, and there will be a 2018 festival in the Czech Republic.
Several towns along Route 66 have developed long-term economic plans based on the highway’s history. They include Pontiac and Atlanta, Illinois; Galena, Kansas; and Cuba, Missouri. Tucumcari, New Mexico is an example of a community that is awakening to the possibilities and is already seeing some surprising results.
In partnership with Promote Kingman, Hinckley launched a weekly Facebook live program broadcast from communities along Route 66 that includes interviews with business and civic leaders as well as local personalities.