Ghost of Christmas Future

Ghost of Christmas Future

With the almost daily announcements that another chain is closing

The Cellar Door is one manifestation of change in the historic business district in Kingman, Arizona. Photo Jim Hinckley’s America

stores or simply going out of business, the focus is often misplaced. Yes, the traditional brick and mortar chain store is being threatened by on line retailers such as Amazon. There is, however, an aspect to the changing face of how America shops that is not often discussed, and it is linked to a rather dramatic shift in societal evolution in general.

To illustrate this transition, consider this. A recent industry study noted that the golf industry in the United States between 2011 and 2016 saw revenue growth of a little more than 1% annually. There is a dramatic shift from migration to rural areas or suburbs to city centers with citizens over 60 years of age as well as with young professionals. A University of Michigan study determined that after evaluating statistics from 1945 to 2016, the “millennial generation” has the lowest rate of vehicle ownership of similar demographics at a similar age.  read more…

Dawn Of A New Era

Dawn Of A New Era

A few short years ago the historic business district in Kingman, Arizona, as with

The long shuttered Beale Hotel once hosted the rich and famous including Buster Keaton and Charles Lindbergh. Photo Jim Hinckley’s America.

small rural towns throughout the United States, was littered with empty store fronts, overgrown empty lots strewn with trash, pawn shops, and vintage motels that catered to people with limited income who simply needed a place to hang their hat for a week or two. At every turn there were vestiges of better times, and tangible links to a colorful history.

The origins for the renaissance that is currently transforming the historic business district, and the Route 66 corridor in Kingman can be traced to 2014, the year the city hosted the Route 66 International Festival. With enthusiasts from several countries, and more than 20 states, in attendance, the event served as an awakening for the community. Fast forward to 2018.

The Route 66 Association of Kingman, working with property owners and Legacy Signs, is bringing back the colorful glow of neon through the restoration of historic signage. Public art projects facilitated by the Kingman Center for the Arts and the Art Hub are enhancing the tangible vibrancy, and fostering development of a sense of community. Award winning microbreweries, eclectic restaurants, a diverse array of shops, and passionate young entrepreneurs such as Jessica Deihl who launched Savon Bath Treats in 2016 have transformed the district into a destination for locals, for travelers, and for investors.   read more…