Williams locals found themselves in the limelight May 8 when crews from the popular morning news show, "Good Morning Arizona," filmed in the town as part of their annual "Road Trip" segment. Camera crews set up in a number of different locations for the four hour morning news program and interviewed a number of individuals from the Williams area, including representatives from the Bill Williams Mountain Men, KC HiLites and the Wild, Wild Wimmin of Williams among others.
Fans of the morning news program came out in force for the live remote, including a crowd of students from Williams-Elementary Middle School. On-Air personalities Dan Davis, Tara Hitchcock, Olivia Fierro and Brad Perry autographed special Road Trip bandanas throughout the morning and posed for numerous pictures with their fans.
According to the hosts of the news program, they couldn't have asked for a better turnout.
"We have had a great time in this town," Hitchcock said. "I've got to tell you, the turnout has been one of the best. The people have been so nice. Just the population of school kids that came and the residents have been fantastic. It's a wonderful little town. I've been on the Polar Express and I'm planning to come back up here in the summer with my family to go back up to the Grand Canyon. It's a really charming place."
Host Dan Davis said he has always been a big fan of Williams.
"I've been coming here a long time," Davis said. "Unfortunately I go back to the days when there was no I-40 and you had to go through Williams if you're going west. I was working over in Flagstaff for Channel 2 in the late '70s and we'd come over here a lot, because Dee Hershey and the basketball team at Williams High was so fabulous, so we were here a long time. I've always loved Rod's Steak House. How can you pass up place with a giant steer out front? I thoroughly enjoy coming over here. Over the years I've been here a lot. We've done the train and we've done the Polar Express with my family. It's a good stop; people get to Flagstaff and forget to keep going."
Davis said the turnout was wonderful for their Williams stop.
"We love the people and we had some great people that came out here, some characters as always, and a lot of good kids," Davis said.
Host Olivia Fierro echoed Davis' statements.
"I love Williams," she said. "I was lucky enough to work in Flagstaff for about a year with Channel 3, so I came to Williams plenty of times to do different stories around town. This has been really great, because this has almost been like a vacation. The people are charming, there's a ton to do, the weather has been glorious and the Grand Canyon Railway is so much fun. We're really happy to see anybody willing to get up at five o'clock in the morning to visit with us. We get paid to get up early and it's such a treat when folks show up. This has been a lot of fun. It was a really great addition to have so many kids turning out as well. I was very impressed with the musical talent and all of our guests today. It was fun."
Bruce Brossman, director of reservation sales for the Grand Canyon Railway, said hosting the live remote couldn't have gone better.
"We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day and we couldn't have asked for a better turnout," he said. "The whole town of Williams has been featured, not just our Railway, but the whole town. It's a perfect time, kicking off our peak season, get a little boost out of the Phoenix area, and stimulate some interest down there. It's starting to get warm, so it just couldn't have been a more perfect day."
He said film crews posed no difficulty when it came to working around the Railway's busy daily schedule.
"We love this stuff," Brossman said. "These guys that run this train, they love the publicity, they love to help, they love showing off their steam engine (and) they love the cars. They work on them all the time and they love to show them off. It's a treat for them. It's not hard to get them behind projects like this at all."