Monday, September 10, 2007

A model program for Route 66 motels

[Source: Route 66 News] -- The City of Flagstaff, Ariz., may be onto something big with its Route 66 Motel Preservation Program. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the city isn’t just giving lip service to historic motel owners along the Mother Road. Through the Route 66 Motel Preservation Program, the city is encouraging local hotel owners to apply for state and federal historic preservation grants to help restore their hotels to the glory days of Route 66. So far, six hotels have indicated an interest in the program, hoping the grants can help them boost their business. Eberhard suggests if the local hotels embrace their historic roots, they could tap into Route 66 aficionados looking for boutique, niche lodgings. He says some tourists, mostly Japanese and Germans, still seek to get their kicks along Route 66. “They want to have an authentic stay on Route 66,” Eberhard said. Ideally, Eberhard hopes the participating hotels will form a common marketing and booking system to direct interested tourists to rooms. Eberhard said the city has already set aside about 10 Internet domain names to possibly advertise the hotels and has also spent roughly $1,000 on the entire program. This definitely bears watching. Route 66 motels were recently place on the National Trust of Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered list. It’s creative program like this that can reverse the tide. Incidentally, the Daily Sun cited La Posada in Winslow, Ariz., as the model for motel preservation. [Photo source of La Posada Hotel: La Posada Hotel.]