Posts tagged “Route 66

Rebranding the “Land of Enchantment”

Posted on April 29, 2012

As reported by the Associated Press earlier this month, the state of New Mexico is rebranding itself to overcome a common perception of the state as boring. Thus, the “Land of Enchantment” will give way to “New Mexico True.” The move is hardly surprising when one looks back over the past century of statehood. For its entire history as a state, New Mexico promoters have walked a tightrope between accentuating the state’s exotic difference and claiming its place in the United States. Before statehood, the Santa Fe Railway’s tourism promotion arm, the Fred Harvey Company, created a powerful image of a foreign land filled with exotic peoples and stunning scenery. It packaged this experience through its Indian Department and its placement of Native American…

Saving Route 66

Posted on April 2, 2012

Jack Kerouac’s spontaneous, cross-country odysseys, fictionalized in his 1957 novel On the Road, may not have taken place on Route 66, but Route 66 likely comes closer than any other American highway to evoking the sense of possibility embedded in the travel experience. Ironically, Kerouac published his most famous work just one year after the passage of the Interstate Highway Act. Recently, the National Park Service, in partnership with the American Express and World Monuments Fund Sustainable Tourism Initiative and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, created the Route 66 Travel Itinerary as part of the World Monuments Fund’s Historic Route 66 Project, which also includes a virtual reality tour and an economic impact study that recommends ways to encourage the revitalization of the…