One of the United State's most beloved parks will become the site of the largest shopping mall / amusement park in the country, officials announced today, April 1, 2014. The Grand Canyon is going to be filled in and "Grand Shopping" will replace it by 2018.
"Take a good look now, folks! Take plenty of pictures!" Forrest Ranger Issah Lyer told tourists at the south rim on Sunday. "It may be the last we see of this place." Lyer has worked as a forrest ranger for over 25 years at the Grand Canyon State Park.
Initially, the construction plan was to fill in the south rim area only, say Arizona project officials, due to the south rim size. At the South Rim, it is a vertical mile (about 5,000 feet) from rim to river.
The project began due to costs of canyon upkeep, budget cuts, and disinterest in the state park. Apparently, people would rather see the park on their iPad, computer, via Tweet, or Iphone, sources explain, than in person. After the south rim portion of the canyon is filled with rock, cement, and fill, it will be covered with topsoil and then paved smooth for a park, "Grand Park." Grand Park will feature rides like roller-coasters, bumper cars, and ferris wheels, with rows of carnival booths.
But after meetings with officials in Arizona, Utah, and Minnesota, it was determined that both the south rim and the west rim would be filled for the park, and the north rim filled for the shopping mall. "This is no small undertaking," says one project official. At its deepest, the canyon is 6,000 vertical feet from rim to river. The width of the canyon measures from ten miles to as much as 18 miles.
The shopping mall, "Grand Shopping," will rival "The Mall of America," with over 2,000 stores, kiosks, several food courts, and large - scale retailers. "It will take days to see the entire mall," say officials. "This is the beauty of it," says President of Commerce Aaron Crock. "All this space can be turned into something useful for consumers to come and visit, spend time purchasing, and have fun." A. Crock is expected to head the project. The canyon should be completely filled by late 2017, and construction to begin in mid - 2018. The entire canyon is 277 miles long, beginning at Lees Ferry and ending at Grand Wash Cliffs.
"I don't know, it seems kind of sad," Ranger Lyre says, watching the visitors take photos of themselves with the canyon as a backdrop. "But we have to advance these days."