Interesting. Especially since I’ve been considering a Route 66 road trip, for sometime in the next 3 years.
The last section of the fabled U.S. route from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, was dropped as a federal highway in 1984. But its hold on travelers’ imaginations has revived motels, diners, souvenir shops, gas stations and other buildings along the old route.
The enduring fascination, along with some federal grants, has helped Route 66 thrive, even as people old enough to remember its heyday die off.
“People are looking to see the real America, not Walt Disney’s version,” said Ron Hart, director and founder of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce in Carthage, Missouri.
A Rutgers University study released in March estimated that people spend $132 million annually along old Route 66, which crosses eight states and is marked in some places by ceremonial signs.