KINGMAN – The Powerhouse Visitor Center that houses the City’s Tourism Division is one of the most comprehensive in the state, Tourism Services Manager Josh Noble told Council Tuesday, a statement corroborated by positive feedback from tourists, and the increase in visitation and gift shop revenue the center has seen in the last year.
Noble explained a six year average shows more than 115,000 travelers stop at the center each year, and that figure is on the rise. He said nearly 136,000 have visited the center in the last 12 months, which comes to about 379 visitors a day.
He noted one reason the center is so successful is because of the hours it keeps; nine hours a day, seven days a week, 357 days a year.
“When we look at other visitors centers in the area, this is more hours than most visitor centers stay open including Flagstaff, Prescott, Yuma Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, Laughlin, Sedona, and Boulder City,” Noble said. “We actually keep more consistent hours throughout the year and throughout the week so that visitors know when they can come in. Only Williams keeps longer hours than us and that’s only during the summer months.”
Operating hours at the Powerhouse isn’t the only reason for the high volume in visitations. Collaborative efforts and marketing campaigns also encourage people to stop and see what Kingman has to offer as they travel Route 66. The City’s Tourism Division utilizes gokingman.com, a travel resource site, publishes a community events calendar, a Kingman fulfillment guide, and a local dining map in addition to incorporating paid advertising.
Much of the paid advertising the City participates in is through the Arizona Office of Tourism Rural Marketing Cooperative. Noble said the marketing cooperative matches the City’s buy-in, which this year came to just less than $50,000 and gave Kingman more than $99,000 in marketing value. All those efforts are instrumental in the increases in Powerhouse visitation and gift shop revenue.
The Tourism Division has an average profit margin of 53.8 percent and covered one-third of its operating costs by bringing in $190,000 in sales for 2018. That is a 41 percent increase over the last fiscal year and a 118 percent increase from 2016. Noble explained there are numerous reasons for the increase.
“We have more floor space after the renovation that took place recently,” Noble told Council. “We’ve also added additional staff, you guys put an additional part-time person in our budget last year, we added in additional registers out at the front desk. All of these things have helped us manage more sales and process more sales so we can generate more revenue at the visitor center.”
So what are tourists saying about the City of Kingman and its visitor center?
Noble commented that the Powerhouse Visitor Center has a Google business rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 and a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 out of 5. Comments left on the sites call the center a must-stop and a great place to rest from the trip with friendly staff.
“We’re a welcoming visitor center for people coming from California and from Nevada, so we’re a good ambassador for the state of Arizona,” he said.