JOPLIN, MO.--- The Joplin Convention and Visitor's Bureau continues to make the city a more attractive place to visit. More than two million people pass through the town on Route 66 each year. That's why the Convention and Visitor's Bureau is trying to make Joplin a place to stop and stay awhile, rather than just passing through.
"There's a lot of good things here. We think when people first come here, and they get our hospitality, they're hooked. They'll come back again," said Patrick Tuttle, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director.
Millions of travelers pass through Joplin on Route 66 each year.
"They come here because of Route 66, and they fly through. We've got to give them more reason to stop," said Tuttle.
As many of us may know, there's more to the heartland of America than meets the eye. Which is why Patrick Tuttle's goal as director of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau is to get passers-by to come enjoy Joplin.
"We need more, what I call magnets, to get them to stop and stay longer. Have a meal, buy some gas, stay the night, be part of the community," said Tuttle.
Tuttle says last year's International Route 66 Festival taught him a lot about what types of travelers pass through.
"This year, we're kind of working on some new things for the Route 66 destination we have. Last year, with the International Festival, we learned a lot, that there's a lot of international visitors that come here," said Tuttle.
Tuttle says what many enjoyed most about the festival were the cars. He says the CVB plans to expand on that idea by bringing in a new event.
"This is the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang, and in July we're going to have a car show and cruise just for Mustangs," said Tuttle.
Tuttle says it's not just festivals inviting people to visit, it's the everyday Joplin we know that he hopes to share with travelers from across the nation.
"We have one of the best Main Streets on Route 66 with nine different restaurant cuisine they can pick from, they could stop here and spend half a day just on Route 66 Joplin, all the murals we have downtown, all the activities, the boutiques, all the important things," said Tuttle.
In the next 90 days, there are more than 60 events happening right here in Joplin. A full calendar of what's going on is available on the CVB's website. To view the CVB website, click here.
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