20 Apr 2023
Tourism is an economic force with the potential to significantly increase economic growth and workforce stability. Art tourism has been around for centuries, though not highly publicized. However, with the explosion of social media, camera phones, and digital photos, art tourism is in demand. Road trips, directly and indirectly, contribute to the rise in art tourism because of the pandemic. From baby boomers to millennials, the desire to photo-document visits with landmark or artsy backgrounds is just as crucial to the aesthetic as it is to the memories.
Programs Boosting Art Tourism
Kingman is the number one location on Route 66 for global tourists. Having access to 34 million people within a day's drive, Kingman is also a choice location for companies moving to Arizona, tourists vacationing, and visitors driving through.
Murals Incentive Program
Murals are the cornerstone of art tourism. Being a supporter of the arts, in January of this year, Kingman launched the Murals Incentive Program (MIP). MIP provides financial support to small business owners wanting to beautify Downtown Kingman with interactive murals that complement Downtown Kingman’s character and give visual enhancement to the property/business without stating the business name.
Benefits from such a program include:
- Increasing art tourism from locals and visitors
- Supporting local and non-local artists
- Engaging residents
- Defining the community’s identity
- Increasing art appreciation
MIP is centralized for murals to appear within a five-block, east-west span, and a two-block, north-south span. Centralizing mural locations will create a designated Mural Walk for tourists and residents to enhance the photo-documenting of their travels and journeys. Being steps away from Beale Street and with the current, mandatory Beale Street exit, the future Mural Walk will be a colorful and artsy rest stop for road trip tourists while adding daily enlightenment for existing businesses.
Small business owners in Downtown Kingman are urged to complete the application and apply for MIP.
Façade Improvement Program
The Façade Improvement Program (FIP) was established in 2019 to encourage the beautification of commercial buildings throughout Kingman. Since then, FIP has helped dozens of businesses with new signs, exterior paint, and more. Once granted, FIP will award each applicant up to $9k.
Some of the eligibility requirements:
- Small businesses or non-profit buildings within Kingman’s commercial zoning district
- New signs must be an upgrade from an existing sign and compliment the character of the area
- Improvements must be completed within six months of the grant approval
Inviting, welcoming, and interesting storefront signage adds allure and intrigue while increasing foot traffic. Currently, funds for the 2022/2023 fiscal year are expended. However, interested business owners may apply early for the 2023/2024 fiscal year.
Whether opening a new business, relocating a business, or upgrading an existing one, you are encouraged to apply for both the Murals Incentive and Façade Improvement Programs. As long as funds are available and your application meets full eligibility, your business could be the talk of the town with a facelift or an ingenious way of saying “Grand Opening.”