66er looks at Vision 2025 funding

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Ron W. at Route 66 News has posted the first in a series on the Vision 2025 Route 66 project. He points out that the $15 million in Vision 2025 for Route 66 dwarfs the federal $10 million fund.

He got a copy of the "Vision 2025 Route 66 Enhancements and Promotion Master Plan of Development," which included a marketing survey to find out what would make Route 66 in Tulsa County a draw for tourists:

One thing that stuck out in the survey results is that a “generation chasm” may hamper future interest in Route 66. Anyone born after the final baby-boom year of 1964 "sees this highway as an old, worn-out piece of technology," the report said. So Littlefield and Vision 2025 figured they had a tough job on their hands — make Tulsa’s Mother Road appeal not only to more receptive folks like baby boomers and hardcore Route 66ers, but also spark interest to the more skeptical, young, tech-savvy travelers.

Most of the guidelines he quoted from the plan make sense, but this one worried me: "Make it hip — in the era of iPods and blogs, Route 66 desperately needs a cool factor."

The impression I get is that the folks who prepared this report don't understand the idea of a niche attraction. Route 66 is never likely to be a mass appeal attraction. The way to approach it is to make it a high-quality, must-see attraction for enthusiasts, but make it accessible to interested outsiders. If you take the other approach -- dumb it down for people who don't know and don't care about 66 -- you won't create anything interesting enough to make it worth the enthusiasts' while to stay the night and spend money.

Here's another important point. We shouldn't trying to market Route 66 as a whole, but the unique roadside features of Tulsa County's stretch of road. Route 66 is over 2,000 miles long, with a lot of variety along the way. What can we do to highlight the unique landmarks on our stretch of road?

Ron W. promises more installments to come.

UPDATE: Part 2 is online.


SWS said:

I have always had trouble understanding any great interest in Route 66. It's a road - just a road! Yes, it has historical signficance. But the reason other trails and trailblazers of history are remembered is usually because of the hardships and risks undertaken and because of the rich tales of pioneers, settlers, families, good guys and bad guys. Route 66 is more a symbol of American leisure (read affluent laziness) than it is a symbol of striving for a better life or overcoming hardships that we learn about when we study early settlers. Many families have amazing stories of trailblazing ancestors going back 6 or more generations - these stories will survive. The only Route 66 stories that will survive are the very, very few that somehow echo the earlier and far more difficult journeys. There is just not enough substance here to expect the Rte 66 story have any lasting influence.

susan said:

ROUTE 66 does have historical significance. It's such significance that they even have television stories showing fun stops along Route 66. Good work Ron W. on your site!

I just love it when my son who is the youngest in his college classes impresses his professors on his ability to take "historical significance"
and apply it to a lesson in History or a Business class. Ever wonder why lawyers learn so much history?

For example our neighborhoods like Florence Park or Mapleridge are historical significance to TULSA. It's important we not allow the City Council to put a car wash in place of True Value
by Florence Park on Harvard.
Ignorant councilors who would accept a car wash at that location have no vision at looking at the history
of how wonderful that neighborhood had a grocery, church, laundry, school, etc. We need to keep the value of property up and the council needs to use their heads when they approve what should be allowed as new and influential businesses to make that area prosper. Look at how the University of Tulsa has prospered. They got the Hardesty family to donate and others to beautify and keep the historical significance of that beautiful property! My grandfather was a dean at T.U. a long time ago. He also taught physics.

People forget that seniors have time to finally
travel, spend money on what senior citizens want instead of on their kids needs, and Route 66 is just another place
that would support small businesses in many towns on Route 66. I personally think it would
be a shame to allow WALMART SUPERSTORES to
drive out all the wonderful grocery competitors as Walmart seems to be doing. Soon Albertson's will close down stores as well as others grocery competitors. That is sad.
Steve's on Harvard is a neat little spot to have lunch at and buy some books. I think Michael Bates should write a book when he gets back from his trip and help Tulsa as well as other cities
in the U.S. figure out how to improve economics
and good decision making instead of allowing the now defunct Great Plains Airlines to be swept under the rug. A $7.5 MILLION TAB is disastrous
for the City of Tulsa and we need to go way back to the beginning and see who ALL THE DEAL MAKERS WERE INVOLVED. WHY BANK OF OKLAHOMA WOULD SEE
could have financial repercussions. I believe
Stan Lybarger was quoted as saying they turned the loan down twice but what changed his mind on approving it? ANSWERS NEED TO BE FOUND OUT to

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 17, 2005 11:37 PM.

An alternative for dealing with blight was the previous entry in this blog.

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