Eight Governors invited to join consortium for Route 66 Centennial planning

15 Jun 2023

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Commission moving swiftly to set Route 66 Centennial activity and project planning in motion collaboratively

SANTA FE — On Wednesday, June14, 2023, the Governors from the eight states along U.S. Route 66 were invited to sign onto a consortium that establishes a model for cooperation and partnerships across state lines so the Route 66 Centennial Anniversary may reach its true potential.

The framework for the consortium was drafted and proposed to the Route 66 Governors by the U.S. Route66 Centennial Commission. By joining the consortium, each state may designate stakeholders to engage and contribute to the Commission’s reports to Congress for how the federal government should celebrate and commemorate the Route 66 centennial anniversary. Each state may also agree to prioritize projects and activities that enable economic development, tourism demand generation, historic preservation, collaboration and education among other strategic priorities.

Projects and activities to be recommended to Congress will be national, regional and statewide in scope. There are currently no appropriated funds for specific projects, but the Commission’s report to Congress will include prioritized recommendations for funding appropriations.

“There is plenty of work to do over the next couple of years to ensure we are fully prepared to capitalize on this incredibly important milestone, and we know a lot of people are excited to get the ball rolling on strategic planning,” said U.S. Route 66 CentennialCommission Chair Rod Reid. “This is why we are moving swiftly to establish a framework for collaboration so we can begin the strategic planning process in away that’s effective and inclusive.”

“This centennial celebration brings a great deal of opportunity for destinations along Historic Route 66, and it also brings a great deal of responsibility for those of us tasked with developing the plan to maximize this opportunity,” said U.S. Route 66 Centennial CommissionVice Chair Jen Paul Schroer. “We get one centennial celebration, which is why we are already hitting the ground running to activate partnerships and collaborate with stakeholders in each of the eight states, so we can meet this moment.”

Each state will designate a coordination group to focus on centennial planning. Projects and activities from state coordination groups will level up to the Commission for further consideration and strategic integration. Further, each state will appoint a designee to serve on the four national working groups.

The Commission held its first meeting via Zoom on Feb. 21, 2023, where the Commission elected Rod Reid, Co-Owner of Shepherd Hills Factory Outlets in Missouri, as Chair and Jen Paul Schroer, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department, as ViceChair. The Commission held its second meeting in Chicago on May 2, 2023, where the Commission finalized its strategic framework and agreed to implement a standard process across the eight states for conducting the Commission’s work per the enabling legislation.


About the U.S. Route 66 Centennial Commission: The U.S. Route66 Centennial Commission was established by act of Congress and signed into lawby the President on December 23, 2020. Commissioners were appointed by thePresident to serve through the duration of the Commission. Commissionersinclude representatives of the eight states that are home to the Mother Road.With the commitment to collaboration, Commissioners are excited to lead thenation's efforts to celebrate, commemorate, and honor Route 66 on itscentennial.