Iconic Kingman attraction closing in on 2 million visitors


Kingman – The Powerhouse Visitor Center reached a milestone on Oct. 25, marking the 20th anniversary since it opened in 1997. 

During that time, the Powerhouse welcomed nearly 2 million travelers who cane from every state and countries all over the world.

On opening day in October 1997, the Powerhouse had a Visitor Information Center, Memory Lane ’50s Diner, Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona Gift Shop, and a model train store. The Arizona Route 66 Museum was added in 2001.


Nowadays, the diner is no longer, with the Route 66 Gift Shop thriving in what was the eatery.  And the train store is gone, survived by a large-scale model railroad that makes its rounds in the building while the real thing can be seen just outside.

A Grand Canyon Skywalk information center and gift shop opened upstairs in the Powerhouse in 2011. Then in 2014, The 66 Kid Gallery and Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated solely to electric vehicles, were added during the International Route 66 Festival. 

A remodel of the Visitor Center at the Powerhouse was in the works after an enhancement study was conducted in 2008, but didn’t get underway until May 2017. The $250,000 remodel, funded by the city of Kingman with contributions from the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, was completed early October 2017, just in time for the Powerhouse Visitor Center’s 20-year anniversary.

The renovation project was coordinated by Burley Hambrick of the Kingman Public Works Department and construction was completed by T.R. Orr, the same contractor that managed the original renovation in 1996-1997.

Work included a new welcome desk at the Arizona Route 66 Museum, additional lighting, signage, store displays, new office and storage space, and one of the largest Arizona highway maps in the state, along with brochures from some 100 Arizona towns and attractions in newly installed brochure racks.

A front page article in 1997 about the grand opening, had this to say, “…the building officially begins its new life as a visitor center designed to generate tourism energy.” 

As the first Arizona Visitor Information Center en route on U.S. Highway 93 from Las Vegas, or Interstate 40 from California, the Powerhouse has certainly become a hub of visitor activity. 

Next time you’re traveling through, stop by the Powerhouse and let us help you plan your Arizona or Route 66 adventure.

Source: Josh Noble, city of Kingman tourism director


The newly remodeled Powerhouse Visitor Center had one of its busiest Octobers on record, with roughly 12,000 visitors. Courtesy/Josh Noble/Powerhouse Visitor Center

Powerhouse Visitor Center interior powerhouse