The Mother Road still calls, for those who have a sense of adventure.
And those who understand the value of tourism revenue in Oklahoma.
Claremore has a unique connection to Route 66 so it's only fitting that a Route 66 Development Seminar be held here next month.
"Route 66, since it's creation, has captured the fascination of travelers, from around the country and abroad. Historically, it served as a way for people to easily see the American West, departing Chicago, travelling through St. Louis, Oklahoma, the Southwest, and arriving on the California coast in Santa Monica. On Route 66, you got to see and experience authentic America," said Jake Krumwiede.
He said Route 66 is in the midst of a revival.
"The old mother road still calls to us, for those seeking adventure or stories of the past, somewhat frozen in time," he said. "First in 1938, and again in the 1950s, Route 66 was branded the 'Will Rogers Highway.' Claremore has a unique connection to the old highway. After all, the route sliced through his hometown of Claremore and ended in Santa Monica, not far from Will Rogers' ranch house in California."
He said, proudly, that Oklahoma is leading the charge in Route 66 revitalization.
"Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell knows and understands what Route 66 tourism can do for our state, and our local communities, and has led the charge in unifying the state in one clear, tourism-centeric direction. And, there is no greater champion for Route 66 than Ken Busby, CEO of the Tulsa Route 66 Alliance. We are very lucky to have them both in Claremore to talk about the possibilities," Krumwiede said.
He added that Claremore is in process of creating a new comprehensive plan that includes the creation of districts that will shape what the town will look like over the next few decades. The Route 66 corridor is among them.
"As I serve as chairman for both Claremore Collective and our city/county Planning Commission, I would be negligent if I did not bring together the efforts of the two entities to create a unified vision to help push Claremore forward. We want to help create fertile ground for new commercial development in Claremore's Route 66 district, as we dovetail with the efforts happening across the state," Krumwiede said.
The public is invited to attend the Route 66 development seminar on Friday, June 21 at the Melton Gallery.
Local voices will join Pinnell and Busby in the discussion.
A panel discussion featuring local leadership will include Jill Ferenc, Director of Development Services for the city of Claremore, Tanya Andrews, Director of Visit Claremore and John Feary, Executive Director of the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority.
"Our section of the route has several iconic, can't miss stops. First and foremost, the museums attract hundreds of visitors every month who are traveling Route 66. And, bookended by the Galloway Totem Pole and the Blue Whale, in Foyil and Catoosa respectively, Rogers County has a wealth of historic stops on Route 66," Krumwiede said. "And now, we are looking forward to the future to see what new iconic sites can be developed."
The keynote panel will take place during the lunch hour. Registration for the event is $15 and includes lunch. Full details and event registration is available online at claremorecollective.com.
The Melton Gallery is located next to CVS Pharmacy on historic Route 66, off of Lynn Riggs Blvd.