Cashing in on an intangible

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There is a fun story in the Christian Science Monitor about a town cashing in on its one major intangible -- A rock 'n' roll revival in Winslow, Arizona. For those of you who don't immediately recognize the name of the town, Winslow has a walk on cameo appearance in the classic rock song "Take it Easy" by the Eagles: "Well, I'm standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, and such a fine sight to see. It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin' down to take a look at me."

Today Winslow has become a tourist draw with the "Standin' on the Corner Park":

In the center of town, the first thing you notice is a large trompe l'oeil mural covering the western wall of an aging brick building that shows what appears to be the reflection in a window of the girl in the flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at a bronze statue of a young man – wearing jeans, shirt, boots, and vest – on the corner with his guitar.
Doesn't sound like much, but the good folks in Winslow have worked it for all its worth:
When travelers get about 20 miles from Winslow in either direction, they see highway signs suggesting that they tune their radios to a local station for town information. When they do, they hear about the site, get directions to the park, and are invited to have their photos taken with the girl in the Ford truck.

The result is people bypassing I-70 so they can ride into Winslow the old fashioned way -- on Route 66.

Shops sell everything from reproductions of Route 66 highway signs and newly mastered DVDs of the old television series to Eagles CDs, hats, key chains, shoulder bags, and refrigerator magnets, as well as prints of the mural. Every store in town sells "Standin' on the Corner" post cards. Business is once again booming in Winslow.

And never more so than each September, when, for the past eight years, the annual Standin' on the Corner Festival has brought thousands of tourists to town. This year's festival will take place Sept. 28 and 29 and features the tribute band "Hotel California, a Salute to the Eagles."

That is what I call making the most of your intangibles! Bravo Winslow.

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