John Whittum: Emerald Park dilemma
July 17, 2015
The only difference is in the number of zeros and the timing: As the Steamboat City Council considers renting space in Emerald Park to Triple Crown in 2016, the U.S. National Park Service is entertaining bids by Scottsdale businessmen to build a cable car network from the top to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 2018.
Why is this happening? Such developments do not come from any government initiative. They arise solely because profit-seeking corporations are convinced they can make significantly more mega-bucks by moving into public space. While political entities are charged with promoting community and public interests, they are often tempted to give in to commercialization. And the groups pushing hardest are the same as those who will profit most. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association favors Triple Crown expansion, just as the Arizona tourism promoters have been quick to cheer on the Canyon tramway project.
Why does our city council need to subsidize, at public expense, the hotels and restaurants which are, with Mr. King's outfit, the primary beneficiaries of this impending sellout?
Will our city and our country be in any way improved by the gradual takeover of our parks by the commercial interests?