Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Redundant Whitewater Center costing an arm and a leg

The redundantly-named U.S. National Whitewater Center for rafting in Charlotte has lost $1.7 million in its first year in existence. According to the Associated Press, the center will ask local governments to cover the loss.

"Center officials told the Charlotte City Council they thought more rafters would use the facility. More people visited the center than expected, but not as many paid to raft. Entrance to the facility is free," says the AP.

Six area governments in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties had already pledged up to $12 million to cover losses for the first seven years.

The center opened to the public in the fall of 2006. Along with its whitewater rapids, center attractions include a climbing tower, a restaurant, bike trails and a conference center.

The center, which cost $35 million and took nearly six years to build, was this country’s answer to an elite, Olympic training center for whitewater athletes. The hope was to put them on equal footing with the dominant European teams, which all train on artificial courses.

Not all is bad news in the Queen City. After all, it is the place to go for a "Mancation."

No comments: