Friday, November 30, 2007

The Price of Playing Battleship

In an attempt to attract more tourists to the area, Texas has spent more than $4 million in South Padre Island. The money has been used to try to sink a WWII battleship to create an artificial reef for divers to explore, due to chemical spills and sinking errors, the endeavor has become very costly. The most recent attempt to sink the ship resulted in it landing the wrong way so that divers are unable to get into the holes that were created for them. The problem now is how to fix this without adding more money to the already costly project.

Although it seems like a good idea to bring tourists to the area which would boost their economy and encourage growth, it is gone a bit beyond convenient and is now becoming a complete waste. It is hoped that the project, once completed, will bring in $30 million a year, if this is successful, hopefully some of that revenue will be used to better other areas and maybe support or fund another project. With the amount of poverty in Texas it just seems pointless to spend so much money repeatedly trying to sink a boat for tourists to play in. Wouldn't that money be better spent somewhere else? Perhaps if the operation had been successful the first time it could have had a positive outcome, but it is the fact that the money is available that is probably causing the mistakes. If there was only enough support for one attempt to sink the ship, a lot more effort would be put in to minimize mistakes, but because they can always just try again people are being careless and not worrying about all the money they're wasting.

Perhaps the city should have looked at other options for funding this project, maybe offering other tourist attractions in or around the ship or maybe the 200 students who took classes in the ship every summer could have put their studies to use and researched and figured out teh best way to sink the ship instead of having a few professionals with a large budget play trial and error to figure it out.

1 comment:

Christi said...

The writer makes a very good point in The Price of Playing Battleship. It is outrageous that that kind of money is being spent on something so ridiculous. If the government thinks that it is a good idea that will bring more tourists and more revenue then they need to safely budget a way to make it happen. Just continually blowing money on something until they happen to get it right is crazy. The writer's idea about looking at different funding options is a good idea, raising money for this cause and making the people who beleive in it really work for it will make them less likely to blow the money by not perfecting their plans. Hopefully, things like this won't happen again and the government will find more productive and helpful ways to spend their money.