Designed by Mary Colter, the hotel closed in 1957 and was used by the Santa Fe Railroad for offices. The railroad abandoned La Posada in 1994 and announced plans to tear it down. It was saved and now caters to Route 66 fans. U.S. Route 66 was originally routed through the city. When a contract to build I-40 as a bypass north of Winslow was awarded at the end of 1977, I-40 replaced U.S. Route 66 through Arizona in its entirety.
The town of Winslow achieved national fame in 1972 with the Eagles’ song Take it Easy in which the line “standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. was included. Winslow is served by Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport which was originally constructed by Transcontinental Air Transport. The Winslow airport was designed by Charles Lindbergh, who stayed in Winslow during its construction. This airport was paid for by Howard Hughes and When it was built, it was the only all-weather airport between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. There are currently no commercial airlines servicing this airport.
Popular bands play throughout the year at the Orpheum Theater and free concerts are held during the summer months at Heritage Square. Flagstaff has acquired a reputation as a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, and the region’s varied terrain, high elevation, and amenable weather attract campers, backpackers, climbers, recreation and elite runners, and mountain bikers from throughout the southwestern United States.
Air travel is available through Flagstaff Pulliam Airport which is located just south of the city. The airport is primarily a small, general aviation airport with a single 6,999 feet or 2,133 meter runway. The airport finished a major expansion project to add 1,800 feet or 550 meters to the north end of the current runway and lengthen the taxiway in 2007. The primary purpose of the project was to increase its viability for commercial and regional jets. Service to connecting flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is provided by US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines.
During the 1940s and 1950s, over 100 western movies were filmed in nearby Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. The Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff hosted many film stars during this era, including Jane Russell, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, and Bing Crosby. A scene from the movie Casablanca was filmed in one of the rooms of the hotel. In the early 20th century, the city was considered as a site for the film The Squaw Man by Jesse Lasky and Cecil B. DeMille, but was abandoned in favor of Hollywood. Several recent movies have been filmed, at least in part, in Flagstaff. A small scene in Midnight Run was filmed in Flagstaff at the train depot, the city was also referenced in the film. Several of the running scenes in Forrest Gump were filmed in and around the area, including a memorable scene where Forrest is seen jogging in downtown Flagstaff. Parts of 2007 Academy Award winner Little Miss Sunshine were filmed at the junction of I-40 and I-17 in Flagstaff, and Terminal Velocity was partially filmed in the city.
While researching the history of Route 66, Lasseter met Seligman barber Angel Delgadillo, who told him how traffic through the town virtually disappeared on the very day that nearby Interstate 40 opened.
Delgadillo’s brother Juan opened Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In in 1953 and the eatery has since become a famous roadside attraction. Author, Route 66 historian and Cars voice actor Michael Wallis covers the history of the restaurant in his book, Route 66: The Mother Road.
It is best known for its gaming, entertainment, and water sports recreation. It is basically a mini-Las Vegas with nine hotel/casinos providing over 10,000 rooms, 94,000 square feet of meeting space, 60 restaurants, two museums, a 34-lane bowling center and a variety of boutiques, spas and salons. More than 14,000 casino workers cross the Colorado River by shuttle boat or drive across the Laughlin Bridge each day. Laughlin casinos cater mainly to the retirees that it buses in from Phoenix every day. The original casino called the Colorado Belle was built by Don Laughlin who founded the town for just that purpose.
The films Roadhouse 66 and Two-Lane Blacktop were shot in Kingman. The movie Management takes place in Kingman. Scenes from the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were filmed at the Kingman Airport; in the scenes, it is possible to see a clear shot of the Hualapai Mountain. Scenes from the 1992 movie Universal Soldier were filmed in the downtown area as well as a local grocery store and at the Kingman Airport. The town is also mentioned in the lyrics to the Bobby Troup song – “Route 66”. Kingman is the closest city to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a transparent horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge and tourist attraction on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
The initial fire badly burned the two railroad employees present, one of whom later died from his burns. The burning propane gas escaping from the valve connection on the rail car quickly heated the liquid propane inside, increasing the tank pressure. This in turn increased the leak and fire, further heating the tank car. The Kingman Fire Department responded, and began setting up attack lines to cool the propane car. Within minutes of the initial fire, the safety valve on the car opened from the dangerously increased pressure in the tank car. The stream of propane gas blowing out of the safety valve immediately ignited as well.
At that point, two burning streams of propane were shooting out of the car, one horizontal from the transfer valve, and one vertical from the safety valve. The heat from the streams of burning propane continued to heat the tank, increasing pressure to dangerous levels. The fire department was in the process of setting up a deluge gun to cool the car, which would have delivered far more water than the booster attack lines they initially were using; however, before the deluge gun could be made ready, the pressure inside the tank car reached the design bursting limit and the tank car exploded. Almost instantaneously, thousands of gallons of boiling liquid propane flashed to gas with the drop in pressure and simultaneously ignited. The resulting explosion produced a shock wave that was heard and felt for over 5 miles with a fireball over 1,000 feet in diameter. Burning propane rained down on everything in the vicinity, and the remnants of the rail car were propelled over a quarter mile from the explosion site. The three firefighters closest to the explosion were killed instantly; eight more died from their burns shortly thereafter. In addition to the eleven city firefighters and one railroad worker killed in the disaster, over 90 onlookers gathered on the highway were burned or injured, some badly. The most severely burned, including some of the firefighters, were airlifted to hospitals in Las Vegas and Phoenix making this incident the worst firefighting disaster in Arizona history.