Galena Route 66 Planning Committee

GALENA, KS.— The president of Galena’s Route 66 Planning Committee returned from an international conference designed to revitalize Route 66. There are 13 miles of Historic Route 66 located in Kansas. Many businesses along the American landmark have learned it can be an economic powerhouse. From Chicago to the Pier in California, the president of the committee, Renee Charles, says it’s imperative they work to unify the cities and towns along Route 66.

“It’s always good because we are one big family and we want to promote the road as a whole,” said Renee Charles, President of Planning Committee.

Presenters at the international conference she attended stressed that the key to longevity for the historic highway will be to promote the attraction to tourists across the globe.

“People are coming from Germany, China, Switzerland, Australia, Japan and Czechoslovakia, and they’re promoting Route 66 in their country. So, we need to promote it in our country as well,” said Charles.

Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby also recognizes the large benefits that Route 66 tourists could have in Southeast Kansas.

“This is money that comes into the area and supports jobs and families, and redevelopment. It’s the economic engine of Route 66 is tourism,” said Dale Oglesby, Galena Mayor.

The next step for the Galena Route 66 Planning Committee: marketing attractions to 27 to 45 year olds in the United States. Charles says it’s important that all the cities in the tri-state area work together to increase tourism along Route 66.

“When you get to Galena, stop by and see cars on the route, see Tow-Mater. When you get to Riverton, go and see the bridge, Rainbow Bridge or the Old Riverton Store. The welcome center or the Phillips 66 Station in Baxter,” said Charles.

According to a Rutgers survey, tourists spend an average of $30 when visiting businesses along Route 66. The committee is currently discussing how they can prepare a bid to have the international conference held in our area for 2015. If that happened, it could potentially bring tens of thousands of people to the Four States.