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“Cars” DVD screen shots September 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.
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UltimateDisney.com has posted a bunch of screen shots from the upcoming Disney-Pixar “Cars” DVD, including a scene from the “Mater and the Ghostlight” short (shown above). Check ‘em out.

The Ghostlight, incidentally, is based on the real-life Spooklight near Route 66 at the Missouri-Oklahoma-Kansas border.

The street date for the DVD version of the hit summer movie that takes place on Route 66 is Nov. 7.

(Hat tip to the Pixar Planet forum.) 

Popping up September 29, 2006

Posted by redforkhippie in Attractions, Businesses, Restaurants.
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Pops construction

Nearly five months after its groundbreaking ceremony, Pops — an unusual gas station that will lure tourists with a 66-foot-tall soda bottle lit with LEDs out front, a collection of 12,000 soda bottles inside, and an elaborate, futuristic canopy cantilevered over the gas pumps — is beginning to rise from the red Oklahoma dirt in a field near Arcadia.

I popped these shots of the building’s skeleton last Saturday evening.

Pops construction

The gas station, which will also include a soda fountain (of course!) and a grill, is scheduled to open next year. We’ll post occasional updates on its progress as we get them.

Red Fork Hippie Chick

$1 million for Joplin-area tourism September 28, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Towns.
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The Joplin (Mo.) Globe reports that city budget plans include $1 million in spending to promote area tourism.

Included is $63,000 for entryway beautification, which includes Route 66.

Next year, the bureau is looking to construct a sign at the southwest corner of North Florida Avenue and Zora Street that has a Route 66 theme and welcomes people to Joplin, McAfee said.

A street is hoppin’ in Joplin September 28, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Highways, Restaurants.
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Joplin (Mo.) Globe columnist Mike Pound reports that Broadway in Joplin, which is part of an old alignment of Route 66, seems to be undergoing a traffic resurgence.

The restaurants along the street are busier, and a promising lunch-only place called the Cobblestone Cafe has opened there.

The cafe, which has been open for three weeks now, is kind of what you would expect to find on a street with a historic past. The famous Route 66 sort of wound its way through and around Broadway, and Ginger said she and her sisters opted to run a family-style diner like those you used to find dotting the Mother Road 40 years ago.

“We serve a lot of home-style family recipes, soups, salads, sandwiches, and we offer a hot-plate special every day,” Ginger said.

So what’s causing the surge in traffic? City of Joplin planning specialist Troy Bolander thinks he knows why.

Troy said Broadway used to be seen mainly as a convenient way to get from Florida Avenue to Main Street, but he said more and more people are using Broadway to get to Range Line and sometimes to avoid Range Line. Regardless, there is more traffic on Broadway than there used to be.

“And the increased traffic makes the properties on Broadway more visible to potential customers,” Troy said.

It’s good to see an old alignment of 66 experiencing an increase in traffic, when the reverse is common.

Grand Canyon Railway sold September 27, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Businesses, Railroad.
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The Grand Canyon Railway, which starts in the Route 66 town of Williams, Ariz., and takes tourists to the canyon’s South Rim, has been sold to a Colorado firm that runs concessions in the canyon, reports the Phoenix Business Journal.

Xanterra Parks and Resorts hopes to formally close the deal by next month. Max and Thelma Biegert own the historic railway, which they revived in 1988 after a 20-year hiatus. It remains a popular way for families to go to the Grand Canyon.

Dave “Willy” Willman, who alerted me to this story, said on the Route 66 forum that he has a friend who works for Xanterra and that he doesn’t anticipate any major changes with the railway once the sale is completed.

Scenic Byways grants awarded September 27, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Highways.
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The New Mexico Tourism Department has given out $473,000 in grants through the Federal Highway Administration’s Scenic Byways program for the fiscal year. Here are the grants that affect Route 66, according to Travel Daily News:

  • Historic Route 66 Bike and Pedestrian Path Construction in Gallup ($50,000): This joint-use path along the Route 66 Scenic Byway will be Phase One of a larger project. It begins at Toltec Avenue near exit 26 of Interstate 40 and continues west along Route 66 for approximately four miles, terminating near the historic El Rancho Hotel.
  • Acoma Sky City Turnouts, Interpretive and Directional Signage ($54,900): The project is located along the two routes (I-40 Exit 102 and I-40 Exit 108), used to access Acoma Sky City from Route 66. Specific turnout locations are Route 66 and Exit 102, the Sky City Scenic Overlook and Enchanted Mesa.

Born on Route 66 September 27, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events.
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Occasionally, I run into someone who says he was “born on Route 66.” This isn’t meant to be literal; it means the house or hospital where he first breathed life was adjacent to the Mother Road.

But now, there’s now one child in New Mexico who can truly make that “born on 66″ claim.

KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports that a pregnant woman in Edgewood, a small Route 66 town east of the Duke City, went into labor. A sister-in-law was driving her to an Albuquerque hospital when the contractions started to get serious in Tijeras Canyon.

A 911 operator on the driver’s cell phone instructed her to pull off the road. She did — at Tramway and Central Avenue, aka Route 66. A few minutes later, paramedics showed up to help deliver the baby right there in the car.

It turned out well. The mother and baby reportedly are resting and healthy at an Albuquerque hospital. And they’re both going to have one cool story to tell.

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