Tag Archives: Route 66

Corner of Aspen Ave. and San Francisco Street in historic downtown Flagstaff, Arizona.

Flagstaff banks on Valley residents trying to beat heat

Compared to the Valley’s 100-plus degree days and stifling summer nights, Northern Arizona is an oasis of mild weather and cool temperatures. It’s no surprise that Flagstaff, the hub of the high country, is a popular tourist destination for Phoenicians in the hot summer months. Indeed, 40 percent of Flagstaff’s annual visitors are traveling from within the state of Arizona, with 18 percent coming from Phoenix, 8 percent from Scottsdale and 7 percent from Mesa.

“During the summer, we see that many visitors are simply visiting Flagstaff for climate relief,” says Heather Ainardi of the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “During summer months, hotel occupancy ranges between 75 to 85 percent and our attractions see a dramatic increase in attendees.”

A yearlong study conducted by the Flagstaff CVB has shown just how much of an economic impact tourism has on the city. Flagstaff saw 4.6 million visitors from February 2014 to January 2015, garnering a total economic impact of $575 million and creating 7,311 local jobs. Tourism produced more than $38 million in state and local taxes, including an all-time high of $6.2 million from Flagstaff’s Bed, Board, and Booze (BBB) tax, a 2-percent tax on restaurants, bars and lodging. The BBB tax, which targets tourist-driven services, provides funding for parks and recreation, city beautification, tourism, economic development and arts and sciences in Flagstaff.

According to the study, 75 percent of the visitors that Flagstaff sees are overnight visitors and 60 percent travel with family. This means that family-friendly destinations are among the most popular tourist spots.

“Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona and the Scenic Chairlift Ride at Arizona Snowbowl still rank very high,” according to Ainardi.

While Flagstaff is the primary destination of 53 percent of its visitors, many also use it as a base to explore the rest of Northern Arizona. The Grand Canyon is an 80-minute drive from the city, while Williams, the departure point of the Grand Canyon Railway, is only 30 miles west of Flagstaff. Just east of the city are popular destinations like Meteor Crater, the site of a 50,000-year-old meteorite impact, and Twin Arrows Casino Resort.

“We see an increase in visitors each summer,” says Navajo Gaming CEO Derrick Watchman. “Our busiest months are from June through August.”

Twin Arrows is working on its second phase expansions, which include a spa that is sure to entice more valley visitors in the future.

The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau kicks up its tourism campaigns in the summer, inviting Valley residents to escape the heat. Last summer the #VisitCool promotional campaign included a “Cool Zone” outside of Chase Field, where fans could escape the July heat before an Arizona Diamondbacks game. Visitors to the Cool Zone took in imagery of Flagstaff, including some of its most popular tourist destinations. The #VisitCool campaign will return this summer, reminding overheated Phoenix residents that they can retreat to cooler weather without leaving the state.

5 fun things to do in Flagstaff

Planning a summer getaway to beat the heat? Here are five things you can’t miss in Flagstaff.

Historic Route 66 & downtown district: A drive down the historic Route 66 will make your modern car feel like a classic cruiser.

Lowell Observatory at Mars Hill: This historic observatory will bring out your inner scientist.

Day hikes in the Coconino National Forest: From easy beginner paths to advanced heart-pumping hills, every hike is packed with beautiful nature and scenic adventures.

Museum of Northern Arizona: This museum will be a hit with any history, art or culture fans.

The Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail: This self-guided pub crawl offers up to $25 in food and drink discounts at some of Flagstaff’s finest craft breweries.


Flagstaff CVB Launches New Marketing Campaign

Visitors planning a trip to Flagstaff this summer will see a brand new look when they research the destination online. The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a new marketing campaign that drives potential visitors to the redesigned flagstaffarizona.org website, which went live on Tuesday, June 18.

“We are excited to provide visitors with a newly designed website that is easy to navigate and use to find up-to-date information about Flagstaff and the surrounding region,” said Heather Ainardi, marketing and public relations manager at the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau. “With the new campaign and website being launched at the same time we are able to provide a consistent message to consumers and travel professionals seeking information.”

Based on research and focus group recommendations the Flagstaff CVB designed the new campaign and website to capture the “Flagstaff vibe,” explain the seasonality of the destination and feature a wide variety of activities found in the area. Highlights of the new campaign include an updated logo with a stamp effect, a distinct color palette to represent each season of the year and photo rich advertisements featuring engaging headlines.

The new advertisement headlines and message is flexible for all markets and will be adjusted based on placement. For example in the Phoenix metropolitan market the new Flagstaff ads will read, “If you were an egg, you’d fear no sidewalk” or “Out of this world, but not out of the way.” In southern California consumers might see a broader reaching message of, “If you were a dog, you’d wag your tail off.” For certain international markets where Route 66 is a popular attraction, the ad will read, “If you were a kid again, you’d need your mother road.”

Since the website is the primary call to action in the campaign’s advertisements the website received a fresh look and increased functionality so it can serve as the premier resource on visiting Flagstaff. The redesigned website is more interactive and features increased content including a destination blog, frequently changing homepage highlights and four unique pages that explain the visitor experience in each of the four seasons.

“Flagstaffarizona.org has been designed to not only provide current travel information, but also be a future planning resource. Links to collateral requests and e-newsletter sign ups are prevalent throughout the site,” said Ainardi. “In addition to general travel information for visitors, the site also provides details for travel professionals, meeting planners, media and filming companies.”

The new campaign debuted with advertisement placements in Flagstaff’s target markets of Arizona, Southern California and Las Vegas; and uses a variety of mediums including traditional print, online, outdoor and television commercials. On Wednesday, June 5, the campaign literally rolled out around Phoenix in the form of light rail train and city bus wraps.

For more information on Flagstaff, visit www.flagstaffarizona.org or call 800-842-7293. Located in the historic train depot at One E. Route 66, the Flagstaff Visitor Center is open Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

back to school

Send Your Kids Back To School With These Fabulous Items

School may be a place for learning, but it is also a place to express oneself in trendy, new gear. Check out these back to school must-haves that will have friends “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” this fall.


back to school itemsback to school itemsPenguin Backpack by Skip Hop

Your child will love going to school with an animal backpack. The smiling bag is bound to brighten your child’s day and make school that much more comfortable.

back to school itemsSketchers USA Pillar

It’s about time for P.E. classes to begin. Keep his feet protected in comfortable, but cute, Sketchers.


With its well-made, fashionable clothes and accessories, Boden has become the go-to destination for back to school style. Aren’t these two outfits adorable?

back to school items back to school items
Fun Cardigan: $54
Printed Skirt: $34
Short Suede Boots: $70
Bobbie Hat & Scarf Set: $36
Everyday Blazer: $52
Twill Shirt: $34


Kipling Aleron Backpack

Carry your books with class in an Aleron backpack. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also durable, lightweight and bound to give you that extra boost of confidence you need while gracing your school’s halls.

back to school itemsSeltzer Peacock Pen

Accessorize your Aleron with Peacock pens. The eco-friendly pens last for seven years and are cute enough to make you love taking notes.

Victoria’s Secret Bling Crop Yoga Pants

We know P.E. class can be a drag, but with Bling Crop yoga pants, at least you’ll look cute for the workout. The pants are available in a variety of colors that are bound to turn heads, in a good way.

Charming CHARLIE Double Stripe Sheer Flower Headband

Don’t forget the hair! Shop by color at Charming CHARLIE for accessories that will add the finishing touches to your hair. The Double Stripe Sheer Flower Headband is the perfect mix of girly and fun.

Magnet Board from the Macbeth Collection

Stay organized with a magnet board. You will never forget when your tests are — or your daily chores — again. The board’s popping colors, along with what you post on them, simply cannot be overlooked.

College Students:

back to school itemsReversible Twin XL Duvet Set, Oval Morrocan

Get Dormified! Style your dorm room or apartment with a reversible twin duvet set. Get tired of the same look easily? The reversible style allows you to have the best of both worlds.

back to school itemsKipling Jinan Backpack

Stay cool on your campus with a Jinan backpack. It’s perfect for laptop protection, back comfort and, of course, STYLE!

Kipling Duo Box

Sick of losing all your writing utensils? Match your Jinan with a carrying case for your pens and pencils to help you hold it together.

The Green Garmento
back to school itemsthegreengarmento.com

Dorm rooms aren’t as big as we’d like them to be, so why not save space? The eco-friendly Green Garmento pairs two, 4-in-1, reusable laundry bags with a space-saving, over-the-door hook perfect for keeping your closet clean and your dorm room green.

Exclusive Pink Collegiate Collection (yoga pants)
$ 36.50

Represent your school. Display your school’s logo on a pair of Victoria’s Secret Pink collection yoga pants. They are perfect for exercising to beat the freshman 15 or for just a weekend relaxing. (Note: You can only find Arizona State University and University of Arizona clothing in stores — not online.)

Grand Canyon - AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Make Arizona Your Destination To Get Away From It All

There’s No Place Like Home

Arizona has something for everyone, which is probably why most of us choose to live here: sunshine, great scenery, Western history and multiple cultures.

Our state is also a favorite destination for travelers seeking a reprieve from cold weather in the Midwest and East. It has golf and spring training baseball and some of the best resorts in the U.S. But when was the last time you made Arizona a destination for you or your family? Hopefully this will remind you of treasures in your own backyard as Arizona’s Centennial celebration draws near.

Lake Havasu City

London Bridge, Lake Havasu - AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011Try counting the number of bricks it took to reconstruct the London Bridge, which spans the Colorado River. Our London Bridge is based on the 1831 London Bridge that crossed the River Thames until it was dismantled in 1967.

The Grand Canyon

Take a trail ride on a burro to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Go out on a ledge — OK, it’s horseshoe-shaped — at the Grand Canyon Skywalk. If that makes you nervous and you prefer solid footing, take a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway.


If you have the desire to see ghosts, some are bound to be strolling down the streets of Tombstone, “The Town too Tough to Die.” They even conduct nightly ghost tours. If you’re curious about the once-flourishing mining industry in Bisbee, you can go on the Queen Mine Tour.


Prescott Rodeo, Photo: Arizona Tourism & Travel - AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011Have a cold one at an old-time saloon on Whiskey Row. If you enjoy watching rodeos, 4th of July weekend brings alive the oldest rodeo in the world during Frontier Days.

Route 66

Follow the “Mother Road” from Holbrook to Oatman or vice versa. Stop off at Meteor Crater or stand on a corner in Winslow. The Petrified Forest National Park is a sight to see as well.


See and be seen at the semi-annual Fourth Avenue Street Fair. Then there’s Mount Lemmon, a winter (skiing) and summer (cabins in Summerhaven) playground. You can also take a tour of the missions in and around the Old Pueblo. In addition, check out a part of American 20th-century history with a visit to the Titan Missile Museum. It’s the only publicly accessible Titan II missile site in the U.S. The coolest part of the museum is experiencing a simulated launch.


Sedona Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, Photo: Arizona Tourism & Travel - AZ Business Magazine Apr/Mar 2011Ski during the winter or take the Snowbowl Skyride during the summer. Jazz it up in October in Sedona at Jazz on the Rocks. You can also go for an artsy shopping trip at Tlaquepaque, or slip, slide away at Slide Rock State Park.


In the mood for wine? You don’t have to travel to Napa Valley or the vineyards of Italy and France. Just jump off I-10 south of Tucson and hit the vineyards of Elgin, Patagonia and Sonoita.

Arizona Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Route 66 information

Historic Route 66

First established in 1926, Route 66 is an American legend. Though it was, for all intents and purposes, “decommissioned” in 1985, the road still lives on in the various states it passed through. In Arizona it exists today as State Route 66. Take a look at the infographic below for more information about the historic road.

Route 66 information

Route 66 - AZRE Magazine March/April 2011

Route 66: What Bridges Arizona To The Rest Of The Nation

Once dubbed the “Main Street of America,” Route 66 Twin Arrows Trading Post - AZRE Magazine March/April 2011not only is a landmark in U.S. history, but also played a vital role in developing Arizona’s economy as a major piece of the state’s infrastructure not long after statehood in 1912.

Arizona has always been known as a gateway to California. First, with the California Gold Rush of 1849, when thousands of people traveled through Arizona on their way to hunt for riches in the Golden State. Since there were no established routes through Arizona, these pioneers blazed their own trails, eventually creating a travel corridor. When built in Arizona, Route 66 followed this same path.

Commissioned in 1936, Route 66 began in Chicago and spanned all the way to Santa Monica, Calif. It was not fully paved until 1937.

Taking Route 66 through Arizona to California not only was popular because it was the easiest way to California, but also because of the tourist attractions and small towns that thrived along the route’s path. From the 1930s into the mid-1950s, Arizona’s tourism industry experienced a golden age as this historic route ran near the Grand Canyon and was a short jaunt away from the Painted Desert and Meteor Crater. In time, Route 66 took its place in American folklore, inspiring a popular song.

Route 66 entered Arizona through Holbrook, which attracted Easterners. Tourism instantly became an important part of its economy. It is reported that the first tourist camp in the U.S. was built in Holbrook. When Route 66 became the official transcontinental highway, tourism took off. It ceased during World War II when gasoline was rationed, but resumed after the war.

The advent of the automobile also was an economic boon to Winslow, which was a major stopping point along Route 66. Cafes, trading posts, motor courts and garages thrived. Similarly, Flagstaff’s economy grew. For years its motor courts and cafes catered to weary travelers.

Seligman, a railroad town founded in 1886, was referred to as the “Historic Birthplace of Route 66.” Its economy flourished when the Santa Fe Railroad established repair facilities there, including the Harvey House Road House.

The last major Route 66 town in Arizona was Kingman, although Oatman and Topock were officially the last towns along the old route. Again, the stretch of 66 that ran through Kingman’s downtown was rich in motels, restaurants and shops. That downtown is listed in the Historic Register for Historic Places. The neon signs of the 1940s proclaiming “Motel Row” remain intact.

But as the nation’s infrastructure grew and improved in the post-war boom years, Interstate-40 arose and Route 66 became irrelevant. Soon, much of the old route was decommissioned.

If it’s “fun in the sun” that attracts people to Arizona these days, it was Route 66 that paved the way for millions to visit and even more to stay and call the Grand Canyon State home.

For more information about Route 66, visit historic66.com.

AZRE Magazine March/April 2011