Loring: Legislation to Rename Route 66 Could Negatively Impact Tourism
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Ben Loring (D-Miami) released the following statement in response to legislation filed to rename part of Historic Route 66 in House District 7 after President Donald Trump.
“I do not understand why Sen. Nathan Dahm and Sen. Marty Quinn have filed legislation that would jeopardize tourism in this part of the state and dishonor one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons,” Loring said. “This highway, from Chicago to Santa Monica, is already designated the ‘Will Rogers Highway,’ which is great for all Oklahomans. This is not at all a political issue. It is entirely an economic issue. Changing the name could have a significant negative impact on tourism in this area.
“The combination of Ottawa and Delaware Counties are number three in the State behind Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties as far as tourism dollars being spent here. Route 66 is a huge part of that. We have the Coleman Theatre, the longest Main Street on the Mother Road, both of the two longest stretches of the original roadway and the Ku-Ku restaurant all right here on Route 66. All of the mayors whose communities would be affected and the County Commissioners join me in opposition to this idea. This is not a political party divide. Many Americans with strong political beliefs and foreign tourists would avoid this section of Route 66 simply because of this legislation if it goes through. That is not fair to these communities. Please pick another road, and I would suggest one in your own Districts.”