From the April 7th Springfield (Il) State Journal-Register "Study: Route 66 travelers spend $132 million per year" by Tim Landis.
A national study conducted of hotels, restaurants, museums, gift shops, gas stations, oil, car rentals and so forth has indicated that travelers along Illinois' Route 66 spend $132 million a year to do so.
Major sites for 66 in Springfield are Bill Shea's Gas Station and Museum (or as his wife says, "That man never throws anything away") and the Route 66 Mother Road Festival (starting next weekend), even though it is largely perceived as a car show.
Rutgers University and the State University of New Jersey conducted the study between 2008-2011 and received responses from 4,200 visitors.
It found that 92% were white with a median age of 55 with average income of $62,500. Some 71% were married. More than 60% were traveling east to west with a typical trip lasting around five days. (Personally, I don't see how you could possibly really travel all of 66 in just five days. Way too much to see and do.)
Bill Shea, 90, said that last year he had visitors from 87 countries. However, state budget cuts in travel are hurting the effort.
There are 90 Illinois communities along Route 66 in Illinois, and most of them have under 5,000 populations.
I can't see how cutting travel budget helps. This is something that brings in more money than it costs.
Route 66 in Illinois. A Great Drive. --RoadDog