Russians plan to market 'Meteor Disneyland'
MOSCOW — The last time a disaster with global impact struck Chelyabinsk, officials covered it up for three decades. This time, they're marketing it to the world.
The meteor explosion over this former secret Soviet nuclear hub two weeks ago was recorded by scores of dashboard cameras and viewed by millions of people, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attract international tourists and their money to the Russian province on the Asian edge of the Ural Mountains.
“Space sent us a gift, and we need to make use of it,” Natalia Gritsay, head of the region's tourism department, said while en route to Lake Chebarkul, where officials gathered on Tuesday to map a strategy for economic development. “We need our own Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty.”
Proposals proffered at the Chebarkul powwow ranged from holding an annual “cosmic music and fireworks festival” to erecting a “floating beacon-tipped pyramid” atop the lake.
One official pitched a “Meteor Disneyland” to re-create the events of Feb. 15, while another pressed for building a “Cosmic Water Park.”
Chebarkul Mayor Andrei Orlov plans to build a diving center at the lake when the ice melts so tourists can search for meteorites in the 10 feet of mud that lie 36 feet below the surface.
“The first thing we need here are road signs in Russian and English, and cops who can say ‘Hello' and ‘OK' to foreigners,” Orlov said. “We don't want to be like the pyramids near Cairo, where tourists come for an hour, shout, ‘Aladdin, come out,' and leave.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Series of Islamic State terrorist attacks kills 37 in, north of Baghdad
- Budget reflects stakes for India
- Storied Poland leftist party struggling
- Iraq opens museum of antiquities in defiance of Islamic State terrorists
- Shelling claims Ukrainian journalist
- Hamas labeled terrorists by Egypt
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expected to confront Obama on Iran
- Teacher turned notorious drug lord Gomez finally nabbed in Mexico
- Kurds rout ISIS from key town in Syria
- Scientists concerned seas will rise, reshaping coastlines
- China slowdown spurs interest rate cuts