GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – People travel along historic Route 66 through Grants everyday. The town that’s trying to restore the route’s history is often pretty quiet, much different from the constant construction along Route 66 in Albuquerque.
Grants is riddled with vacant businesses, struggling to keep them in the small town.
“Retention is kind of hard,” said Manuel Vasquez, a city councilor.
Rundown motels and boarded up buildings are everywhere.
“You hear all the gloom and doom, businesses going out,” said Vasquez.
So with the struggles in Grants, and hearing what businesses along Central Avenue in Albuquerque are going through, a Grants store owner came up with an idea.
“We saw an opportunity, yes we did,” said Vasquez.
The mayor wrote up a letter and city staff then took that letter door to door to Central Avenue businesses. In that letter, he asks them to consider moving to Grants, even if just a satellite shop.
“We’re open for business and we’d love to have everybody here,” said Vasquez.
Some Albuquerque store owners don’t think it’s for them.
“I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested in relocating at the moment,” said Mona Ghattas, the owner of Duran Central Pharmacy.
But the City of Grants feels there will be interest.
“We have one of the longest stretches of Route 66, so there are a lot of tourists out there who specifically look for that,” said Grants City Manager Laura Jaramillo.
She said shops that cater to that niche would do well there and they’re hoping businesses will give them a chance.