By Debbie Robinson
MIAMI, Okla. — The city of Miami and the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau have been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to develop a travel guide for historic Route 66.
The Oklahoma Scenic Byways Program will administer the project with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
About 250,000 copies of the Tri-State Route 66 Travel Guide will be distributed to visitor centers, hotels, businesses and other travel sites throughout Southeast Kansas, Northeast Oklahoma and Southwest Missouri, Miami City Manager Huey P. Long said Tuesday.
The project represents the first Tri-State cooperative effort funded by the Oklahoma Scenic Byways Program.
“We’re very pleased and excited to receive this grant,” Long said. “As the economy continues to tighten, we’ll see more people who have an interest in short-term trips.”
A $10,000 match is being provided by cities, counties and tourism bureaus in the region.
Long said the city hopes to have brochures available before spring.
“Most people do not understand what’s in the region and the immediate area,” he said.
The tourism brochure will feature such attractions as the Coleman Theatre in downtown Miami, the Rainbow Bridge on old Route 66 at Baxter Springs, Kan., and the Route 66 Drive-in movie theater at Carthage, Mo.
Amanda Davis, director of the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the 48-page brochure will be a marketing asset to the region.
“My goal is to really see us work together to turn those one-day trips into three-day trips,” Davis said. “We all understand that together we’re stronger.”
The region in the past two years has seen an increase in international travelers who are interested in the historic roadway and its attractions.
Last year, Davis said, the region had between 50 and 60 international groups who traveled the route on motorcycles.
Davis said revenue from Miami’s 4 percent hotel and motel tax is estimated to generate $150,000 this year — a 28 percent increase over last year’s figure. The city has 451 hotel beds, she said.
The local match of $10,000 comes from the Vinita Area Chamber of Commerce; the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the cities of Baxter Springs, Kan., and Galena, Kan.; Cherokee County, Kan.; the Joplin (Mo.) Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Carterville (Mo.) Route 66 Committee; and the city of Webb City, Mo.
By Debbie Robinson
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