GALENA, KS.--- Columbus, Ohio Native Mike Wallace already has his retirement planned.
"I'm going to retire next year, and I'm going to take about a month and a half and do Route 66," said Mike Wallace, From Columbus, Ohio.
This isn't the first time his been on the Mother Road.
"I stayed the night before last in Cuba, Missouri," said Wallace.
He says this isn't the Galena he remembers.
"It's 100% different. Very, very nice. Lots of progress," said Wallace.
Wallace is just one of the hundreds of people who will travel through town this year, and with the tourists, comes cash. With more new businesses in town, those people are spending that money in Galena, and Mayor Dale Oglesby says the sales tax numbers back that up.
"We've been historically running eight to ten percent increase over year prior, and we've had several years of that back to back," said Dale Oglesby, Galena Mayor.
Oglesby says it wasn't easy breathing life back into the former mining town. While city workers, elected officials and business owners played a role in that, Oglesby is quick to point out the group that made the biggest impact.
"I had a conversation with my barber, and I said 'what do you think is the biggest thing that's changed in Galena?' And he said, 'you know, I could talk about Main Street, I could talk about the hospital, I could talk about a lot of things,' but he said it's the attitude of Galena," said Oglesby.
He believes the impact of a better Galena will reach beyond city limits, into the county, and all along the historic route.
"We're enthused about the future, and we believe in the future of not just Galena, but of Joplin, of Carthage, of Webb City, you know, we're all connected on this route," said Oglesby.
Bringing Wallace and others to town.
"It's great, it's a great ride. Nice people to meet, nice people to stop and talk to," said Wallace.
Oglesby says they're not done with the business boom just yet. Over the next few weeks at least one new restaurant will open up, and there are rumors of even more businesses coming to town soon.
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