TUCUMCARI, N.M. (KRQE) – Business owners in Tucumcari are still dealing with the aftermath of last week’s storm. Many of those businesses are located on Historic Route 66 and suffered damage to their classic neon signs.
Motel Safari is located along Route 66 in Tucumcari, it’s one of the many businesses whose signs took a beating during last week’s hailstorm. Larry Smith is the owner of Motel Safari and said it will cost him anywhere from $1,500-$2,000 to repair his neon sign.
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“It’s a very tall sign so we did have damage enough to where the neon stopped working completely so at this point we don’t have no neon,” said Smith.
Another challenge he’s facing is finding a repair company that will travel to Tucumcari. The only business that’s willing to drive to Eastern New Mexico is a company based out in Amarillo, Texas.
“We try our best to keep money in our state but that’s sometimes very difficult when they don’t want to provide service here in the state,” said Smith.
According to New Mexico Route 66 Association Secretary Connie Loveland, 12 businesses have some type of damage to their neon signs, which is why the association created a GoFundMe page to help them out. In just a week the GoFundMe page has raised more than $2,000.
“How we determine who gets what help is going to, it’s us going to depend on the amount of damage that they have, the cost to repair and do we equitably distribute that between the members,” said Loveland.
The storm also damaged roads in Quay County, including a bridge that was under construction.