Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Tourist Trap in the Making?

Apparently, the demolition expert charged with bringing down a tower in Sioux Falls ran into some problems. The result is that there's a leaning tower in South Dakota. (For more, see here.)

But before the building's owners bring it down completely, maybe they should consider whether they'd like to turn Sioux Falls into the American Pisa.

My wife visited that other Leaning Tower last year and reports that it's nothing but an undeservedly hyped tourist trap. "It's just like the World's Largest Prarie Dog," she said when she called me from Pisa on a cell phone.

She was referring to a much-hyped attraction that we saw astride I-70 in Kansas two years ago. For miles of our trip to Durango, Colorado, billboards announced the location of the Prarie Dog. Several hours after seeing the first sign publicizing this wonder, we passed the object of all the hype. Partly concealed by a wooden wall like one of those screens behind which performers changed their costumes in the old show-biz musicals was a six-foot tall Prarie Dog...made of concrete.

It looked like there were actually people who had paid to see it. The way I see it, if people are willing to part with their cash to look at a concrete Prarie Dog, they might buy a tumbler, pennant, or paper fan as a souvenir of their visit to the Leaning Tower of Sioux Falls.

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