If you are looking for opportunity it is blossoming in Kingman, Arizona, a dusty high desert town on the cusp of becoming a major destination. The historic Brunswick Hotel and Beale Celebrations event center are currently for sale and the savvy investor would have to look far and wide to find a more lucrative opportunity. Most every weekend there is an event in the historic business district, and increasingly Kingman is becoming a destination for legions of Route 66 travelers, mountain bikers, arts enthusiasts and people from the Los Angeles metropolitan area as well as Phoenix in search of a fun weekend getaway.
The growing popularity of Route 66 is nothing short of astounding. There are active Route 66 associations in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, and Brazil. Attendance of the second European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czech republic was estimated at more than 20,000 people from ten countries. There are companies that specialize in Route 66 tours based in Australia, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands. Kingman is located at the center of the longest remaining uninterrupted segment of Route 66, 160 miles. Consistently this portion of iconic Route 66 is rated as the most scenic anywhere between Chicago and Santa Monica, California.
The Cerbat Foothills Recreation area trail system on the northern fringes of Kingman is growing in popularity with mountain bikers, hikers, and photographers. Recently a travel writer quipped that the Monolith Garden section was a “miniature Monument Valley.” Twelve miles south of Kingman, in Hualapai Mountain Park, there is an even more expansive trail system that courses through a towering pine forest as it winds to summits and peaks that provide awe inspiring views of the desert below. The trail system is but one reason that Kingman is on the cusp of becoming a destination.
Sixty miles east of Kingman, on Route 66, is Grand canyon Caverns, a resort complex that dates to the era of Studebaker, tail fins, and I Like Ike buttons. The caverns offers wheelchair accessible tours as well as spelunking, dinning above or below ground, miniature golf, and soon the thrill of a zip line. Closer to Kingman is Diamond Creek Road accessed via Route 66. This is the only road that offers vehicular access to the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon! And the west end of the Grand Canyon with its now legendary Skywalk, is less than 80 miles north of Kingman.
Events are adding to the community’s draw and the vibrancy of the historic business district. On the third Saturday afternoon of each month, March through October, Chillin’ on Beale transforms downtown Kingman into a living time capsule circa 1958 with music, classic cars, cruising and great barbecue. The annual Route 66 Fun Run fills motels in Kingman as well as surrounding areas as Route 66 enthusiasts gather for a weekend of fun. A company in New Zealand and Australia now include the event in their spring tour package, and members of the Canadian Route 66 Association are regular participants.
Is Kingman the land of opportunity! The answer is a resounding yes and that opportunity is made manifest in Beale Celebrations and the historic Brunswick Hotel.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America