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8:13 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

Powerhouse performing well, but there’s room for improvement

Above, tourists stop for a photo at Locomotive Park. How can space around the Powerhouse Visitor Center be utilized to increase tourism in Kingman? (Hubble Ray Smith/Daily Miner)

Above, tourists stop for a photo at Locomotive Park. How can space around the Powerhouse Visitor Center be utilized to increase tourism in Kingman? (Hubble Ray Smith/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – The City’s Tourism Division presented a comprehensive overview of the Powerhouse Visitor Center’s performance during Council’s July 22 meeting, a presentation that prompted Councilman Travis Lingenfelter’s request that staff return to Tuesday’s meeting to hammer out addition details of Kingman tourism efforts.

Josh Noble, tourism director, and Gary Kellogg, economic development director, explained in July that the visitor center and tourism division are doing well. The Tourism Division averages a 53.8 percent profit margin and covered one-third of operating costs by making $190,000 in sales in 2018. That’s a substantial increase of 41 percent over the last fiscal year.

But Lingenfelter wonders if more could be done outside the visitor center to increase traffic to not only the center but to downtown businesses as well. While driving by visitor centers in other cities, Lingenfelter said both inside and outside space is utilized, something he thinks the Powerhouse could benefit from.

“When I’m driving past the train park, we have the nice arch there now, maybe we could explore using all of that space on the outside with seating, with shade, maybe the community college here has some public art they could exhibit out there just to make it more of an inside and outside experience,” Lingenfelter said.

He also thinks City staff should make use of the newly created Economic Development Commission, which he said could take a closer look at best uses and space utilization at the visitor center. He added that the commission could also look at the possibility of basing regional tours out of the Powerhouse, and could discuss selling local products in the gift shop.

“And any other ideas that would help us to maximize downtown, and just create that experience and destination that we’re all wanting to strive for,” Lingenfelter said.

One idea the councilman mentioned was promoting local mountain biking trails in an effort to market recreational tourism in Kingman.