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‘I am being discriminated against’ June 28, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Motorcycles.
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Charlie Elliott wants to hold biker rallies off Route 66 near Depew, Okla., but Creek County won’t let him because Elliott’s property is not zoned properly for such events.

Elliott tells the Sapulpa Daily Herald that “I am being discriminated against.”

Elliott formed a Route 66 Biker Church and has held toy rallies for charity.

However, other things have happened that would make me question whether Elliott is serious about forming a church and other philanthropy. I’ll let these excerpts from the story explain:

“The unincorporated town of Milfay objected to the events and complained to the county,” Elliott said.

“I had put up pictures of some of the women topless at our events and they didn’t like that. They said they didn’t want adult entertainment in their community.” [...]

Elliott said that some of the typical events that can be found at his biker rallies are “Girls Girls Girls,” “Wet (No)T-Shirt Contest,” “Mud Wrestling,” “Lingerie Sale” and “Topless Karaoke.”

I think Creek County is within its rights to regulate large gatherings. And to its credit, it’s going by the book in regard to Elliott:

“It’s a simple matter of zoning compliance,” said District No. 1 County Commissioner Dana Hudgins.

“If he got zoned he could hold the rallies. There is no personal or moral issues directing our decisions. Elliott doesn’t want to do this in a professional manner.”

According to Hudgins, the claim that the county is blocking Elliott’s applications for zoning because of the adult nature of the biker events is untrue.

Hudgins said that a housing development across the road from Elliott’s property is proof of that.

“Oaklake Trails is a small nudist housing development that has been started recently,” said Hudgins.

“They have done everything by the book and they are considered a successful venture. Our decisions regarding who gets zoned are made based on sound, legal judgement and not based on personal preference.”

We already reported about the dispute about six months ago here (check out the comments, too). Our view remains the same — Elliott has a big credibility problem when he’s holding church services one week and nude karaoke the next.

Back to the beginning for El Vado June 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Preservation.
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After a court ruling struck down the city landmark designation for El Vado Motel in Albuquerque, the matter is back before the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission on July 11 on whether to make the historic Route 66 motel a city landmark to protect it from redevelopment.

A judge ruled that the commission didn’t adequately consider the economic impact of the landmarks decision. However, part of the blame needs to go to the owner himself. The economic data he provided to the commission was scant.

The court ruling basically sets back the clock to nearly two years ago, when El Vado was before the Landmarks Commission. At the time, the panel voted unanimously to give the motel the historical designation.

The key difference is that owner Richard Gonzales and the city are currently negotiating for a settlement. The mayor has made his stance clear, saying “we’ll condemn it and take it” so the motel can be preserved if a settlement can’t be reached.

With the landmarks meeting looming and new pressure from the National Trust for Historical Preservation, I wouldn’t be surprised if some sort of settlement is made before July 11.

Route 66 stencils being painted on road in New Mexico June 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Signs.
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To identify Route 66, the New Mexico Department of Transportation is painting Route 66 stencils directly on the road’s shoulder in the western part of the state, reports the Gallup Independent.

Delane Barros, spokeswoman for the state highway department, District 6, said 30 of the logos will be stenciled in using white paint this summer along the historic route. Nine will eventually go up in Gallup and six more between Milan and Grants.

These stencils not only will help travelers stay on-course, but they also will be theftproof. States have long had trouble keeping up the traditional metal signs at the side of the road because people steal them.

The sad state of Twin Arrows June 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Restaurants.
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The Route 66 truck stop known as Twin Arrows outside of Flagstaff, Ariz., is abandoned and has been deteriorating for years. One of the two giant arrows stuck into the ground has shed its plywood tail. Garbage is littered all over the site.

The Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff reports that because the Valentine diner on site has historical value, some small hope remains that the site can be resurrected. The curios shop, however, has been too modified to qualify for a historical designation.

The article at least contains the memories of those who live near Twin Arrows and those who once ran it.

For now, that’s all Twin Arrows has.

Too much rain June 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Weather.
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A travel advisory for roadies planning on driving through Oklahoma: an abundance of rainy weather is causing flooding in eastern Oklahoma County, which is part of the Oklahoma City metro area.

According to KOCO-TV:

This large square area and many of the roads within it, including Route 66, are currently affected by high water. The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office asked the public to use extreme caution traveling within this area.

Illinois sees rise in tourism revenues June 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Businesses.
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The state of Illinois broke records for tourism revenue during 2006, reports the Pontiac Daily Leader.

Livingston County saw an 8.8 percent increase. The reason?

“I think part of the increase in numbers for our county are related to the Route 66 phenomena,” Ellie Alexander, Pontiac’s tourism director, said about the Illinois figures. “The cooperation with the Red Carpet Corridor communities in advertising and events brings more awareness to our area. The museums in Pontiac, as well as the movie ‘Cars’, all contribute to the increased tourism numbers.”

“Cars,” an animated movie released in 2006 by Disney/Pixar, had as one of its working titles “Route 66,” according to the movie-related Web site imdb.com. One of the frequently asked questions on that site about the movie is “Was Route 66 a real highway?”

Preservation in action June 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Motels, Preservation.
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Emily, who is in charge of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association‘s preservation committee, supervised the preservation project during the past weekend’s National Route 66 Festival in Clinton, Okla.

The mission: To pretty up the long-closed Ray’s Motel in Clinton over a three-day period. More than two dozen volunteers showed up.

Emily has more details and photos from the weekend here. As a preview, here are before-and-after images of the motel.

Ray’s Motel after the scraping was done and painting was starting in earnest.

Ray’s Motel, after all the painting was completed.

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