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Route 66 With Renee: A Warm Welcome in Amarillo

After a wonderful second night’s sleep at the Colcord Hotel, The Great American Route 66 Road Trip crew was ready to kick off day two of the journey.

We all piled in to our awesome Ram ProMaster City, which was gassed up and ready to roll on to Amarillo, Texas. We left the hotel around 7 a.m., and I was eager to see what the Lone Star State would boast during our visits to more local businesses.

Day 2: Amarillo

After about four hours on the road Tuesday morning, we finally arrived in Amarillo at our first stop of the day, Lang Tire & Auto. We were greeted by a local news channel interested in learning more about our trip. We were able to promote our first visit in Amarillo and spread the word about the Main Streets contest.

Renee Changnon, editor, and the Independent We Stand team at Historic 6th Street in Amarillo.
Renee Changnon, editor, and the Independent We Stand team at Historic 6th Street in Amarillo.

At our first location, were greeted by Judy Stark, executive vice president of the Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association and a longtime Amarillo local. Stark gave us a warm welcome and spent some time showing us around a few parts of Amarillo.

Stark brought us to the 6th Street Historic District, which is an area with lots of little boutiques, local antique shops and cool local restaurants, many featuring the Route 66 theme. Then she took us to La Fiesta, a local Mexican restaurant, where we met the owner and enjoyed a great meal. Stark shared her love for Amarillo and the community, which all comes together to support one another.

After lunch, our group headed to Proffitt’s Lawn and Leisure, where we met owner David Brogden. According to Brogden, the business has been owned and operated by his family since 1970.

David Brogden, owner of Proffitt's Lawn and Leisure, helps landscapers and homeowners in his family owned business.
David Brogden, owner of Proffitt’s Lawn and Leisure, helps landscapers and homeowners in his family owned business.

Proffitt’s sells a wide variety of riding lawn mowers and is a local Stihl power equipment dealer. Their customers consist of professional landscapers who they see on a frequent basis, as well as homeowners who use their services as well. When asked why he liked being a business owner in Amarillo, Brogden shared his favorite parts of the community.

“I love that Amarillo has such a small-town feel,” Brogden says. “Our customers are so loyal and always try to shop local, rather than at a big box, whenever they can.”

Our last stop in Amarillo was at the Texas Dodge Dealership, where we met one of the managers, who shared the deep involvement the business maintains in the community. They volunteer in a variety of ways and, as a longtime local dealership, they also have many loyal customers who have brought in their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Renee Changnon, editor, explores Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
Renee Changnon, editor, explores Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

After parting ways, we had a quick stop at the Cadillac Ranch, which is a well-known tourist attraction along Route 66 right by Amarillo. Cadillac Ranch has several old model Cadillacs buried in the desert and people traveling along Route 66 come to see it and spray paint the cars.

We admired the view and hopped right back in the car to find a place to stay along the way to our next stop in Albuquerque for the following day.

I’m really excited for Wednesday’s visit, as we will be visiting two hardware stores and learning about their businesses. Check in tomorrow to read about my day in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and continue to follow the trip on Hardware Retailing’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as NRHA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon
Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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