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Arizona city prepares for tourists after ‘Nomadland’

“Nomadland” was partly filmed in the western city of Quartzsite and won the Oscar for Best Film this year, but it is still unclear whether this will translate into more tourists

QUARTZSITE, Arizona – “Nomadland” was partly filmed in the western city of Quartzsite and won the Oscar for Best Film this year, but it remains unclear whether it will translate into more tourists.

Regardless, Phil Bates, owner of the Main Office, told the Arizona Republic that he plans to be ready to sell Nomadland-related t-shirts and tchotchkes to any of the onlookers who decide to stop by the small Arizona town near the California border .

“I saw that he won,” he said. “It was like, motherfucker, that movie really took off.”

Frances McDormand won the award for best actress for her role in “Nomadland” by Fern, a widow who moves out of a city where the company closed.

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She turns her van into her home and starts her nomadic life on Quartzsite.

The filming of the film at the end of 2018 did not seem to draw much attention from residents or hinder daily activities, according to the Republic. The newspaper reported that most of McDormand’s scenes were filmed where nomadic travelers camp in the desert south of Interstate 10.

The city itself is north of the highway, although two quartz companies are shown in the film.

In one scene, McDormand dances with co-star David Strathairn inside the Quartzsite Yacht Club, a bar and steakhouse on Main Street that features live music.

But anyone who wants to visit the Quartzsite Yacht Club has to wait at least until October. The bar closed for the season in February due to staffing problems, according to its Facebook page.

MeMe Selleck, owner of the Yacht Club since 2015, said the bar will reopen in October along with what she predicts will be the “Nomadland” merchandise for sale.

It will undoubtedly sell more memberships to the Quartzsite Yacht Club, each priced at $ 49.99.

Donald Miller, who sings his “Quartzsite Vendor Blues” in the film, will be back at the club.

“With the film and the big advertising campaign, I have received many messages,” Selleck told the Republic. “I think it will be positive for everyone in this city.”

In the film, McDormand also has a performance by Paul Winer, who plays melancholy boogie-woogie piano music in honor of his dead friends.

This piano is located in a small music room next to the Reader’s Oasis bookstore, also along Main Street.

A film location hunter heard Winer playing and sent a video to the film’s director, Chloé Zhao, who decided to include him in the film, said Joanne Winer, Paul’s wife.

In the piano scene, Paul Winer toasts musically, while singing, “the friends who had to leave. The friends in our hearts ”, concluding,“ Help me smile to keep the tears away ”.

Paul Winer died in November at the age of 75, after a disease that began to affect him at the time of filming, said Joanne Winer.

Paul Winer was unable to see himself in the film, but figured he would make the final cut after receiving a check for $ 1,000, Joanne Winer told the Republic.

She also received an advance check for royalties of another $ 1,000, as Winer’s song, “Next To The Track Blues”, was included on the film’s soundtrack.

Joanne Winer said she expects a “Nomadland” leap in business.

She said that with the pandemic driving tourists away this winter, mainly Canadians, her business has dropped 80% compared to last year.

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