Arizona Highways license plates to raise money for state

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 When the new Arizona Highways License plates roll off the presses, it is a story all its own.

Inmates, who make all of the license plates, manufacture them in Florence. And while this specialty plate design is relatively new, it is already catching on quickly, which is good news for the magazine.

Win Holden, the publisher of Arizona Highways Magazine, loves that there is another source of revenue to use for promotion and help pay the bills.

"Of that $25, $17 comes to the sponsoring organization -- In this case it would be us -- And the remainder goes directly into the state highway fund," Holden said.

So far, 6,000 plates have been sold. But Holden said not everyone buys them just to support the magazine or the state. Many Arizonans, Holden said, just like the way the plate looks.

Jack Dykinga is a regular contributor to the magazine, and his photograph taken at Saguaro National Monument was chosen for the license plate.

"All of us who looked at it on a light table said, 'There it is. That's it,'" Holden said. "There's no mechanical or computer technology that's been used for this. That's exactly the way the image was shot."

A study indicates that more than $32 million in tourism spending can be directly attributed to the magazine, and the people at Arizona Highways hope the plates might just lend a hand in helping the magazine keep those tourists coming.