The proposed Route 66 Experience Interpretive Center will be constructed on City-owned land at the intersection of Route 66 (Southwest Blvd.) and Riverside Drive. Hands-on, interactive exhibits will let visitors experience the history of “America’s Main Street”, which now attracts site-seers from around the world. There will also be space for restaurants and retail. The complex will be located adjacent to the Arkansas River, Route 66 Skywalk, Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, East Meets West bronze sculpture and the Cyrus Avery Memorial Bridge where East meets West on the historic road.
A feasibility study completed in 2011 by ConsultEcon projects more than 40,000 local, national and international visitors each year. The study also revealed a funding gap between dedicated public resources and actual construction costs. Public funds totaling $6.5M from Vision 2025 and the Third Penny Sales Tax Extension are dedicated to assist in the development, upon adequate fundraising by the Route 66 Alliance. The Alliance entered into an exclusivity lease option agreement to continue raising private equity. Upon successful completion, a development agreement can be negotiated.
The concept to the right was included in the Route 66 Alliance’s proposal for illustration purposes. However, the final concept will be included as part of a new proposal to be developed.