Presidents Dashboard 12/22/2022
I hope you’ve gotten a jump start on your New Year for 2023! Overall, 2022 was a super busy year for me personally. 2023 is shaping up to be full of action as well. I’ve got a few things to tell you about to get ready for this year.
Late in 2022, I was in attendance for the Great Rivers Greenway announcement for plans to construct a new welcome center at the Missouri side of the Chain of Rocks Bridge. Construction should begin this year. A new parking lot and green spaces will be constructed along with added security features. Public restrooms and shelters will also be part of the newly renovated area. We all know that the Missouri side of the bridge has been a very unwelcoming area for decades. I’m happy to see Great Rivers Greenway take action to reverse the problems that have plagued tourists and locals that visit the site. Hopefully it will inspire others to invest in the areas immediately north of the are and south as far as downtown Baden.
Our first Missouri state meeting to discuss the Route 66 centennial will happen this year sometime. The centennial commission was put in place a couple years ago in order to celebrate the 100 anniversary of Route 66 through Missouri. The panel is made up of volunteers and experts that will devise plans to attract tourists and promote Route 66 within our state. I hope to have more on this subject in next month’s magazine.
Already we have a bunch of road enthusiasts signed up for our 2023 annual motor tour. The event has been gaining popularity in the last couple of years. This year is going to be extra special because we are starting in Litchfield, IL and taking Route 66 to Cuba, MO. I would like to extend a personal Thank You to all our gracious donors that help make this motor tour possible. The money raised is very helpful to our mission. Please sign up today at www.Missouri66.org. While you’re at it, invite your friends. The tour is open to non-members alike!
We have at least 2 neon sign projects we will unveil this year. Our neon preservation committee is once again going above and beyond the normal call of duty by helping out our friends in Oklahoma. The Hiway Café sign in Vinita Oklahoma will be our first relighting ceremony of the year. Make plans to motor west and see our website for more details on when this event will happen. The second project is the Webb City florist sign. As of this writing, we have raised 1/3 of the $6,500.00 it will take to refurbish and relight this sign. Please donate to the cause at our website. You’re not only helping out a fellow small business, but literally bringing to light a little-known section of Route 66 through Webb City. We will post updates on the project, but I’m sure we will get it lit sometime this year.
Last but not least, we are finally making headway to negotiate a transfer of ownership of the Gasconade River Bridge to the Route 66 association of Missouri from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Talks began this past fall. We have been meeting with MoDot continuously and have been making plans on how we will accomplish goals in order to facilitate the transfer. Keep a close eye on this project, as we will need our members and other groups within the state to donate generously to make this a success. If you have any ideas for fundraising or for potential donors, please send me an email. Rich@HookedOnRoute66.com
Thanks for your support! – Go your own way!