Implode the Dome
As yet another round of plans are released for the 40-year-old landmark, the Astrodome, I can't help but wonder if it's time to implode the ...
As yet another round of plans are released for the 40-year-old landmark, the Astrodome, I can't help but wonder if it's time to implode the dome. The Houston Chronicle reports that the latest proposal would transform the former Eighth Wonder of the World into a 1,200-room convention hotel with a winding indoor waterway. It also calls for trees, walkways and mill wheels. The project even has a theme, the Best of Texas, which would feature buildings that evoked the state's past.
Developing the Astrodome into something useful is without argument desirable. After all, it costs Harris County about $1.5 million annually just to host a few events there. But the Astrodome is located in a boring part of the city with only the Six Flags Astroworld and Reliant Stadium--home to the NFL Houston Texans--to offer for itself. An NFL season is comprised of 8 home games, and the theme park is open for only three months in the summer.
Who exactly would this monstrosity attract? Not a lot of businessmen. Downtown Houston is 10 miles north. Instead, the Astrodome Hotel will attract a few in-state tourists who between the theme park and their hotel rooms will wander aimlessly around replicas of the Alamo, state Capitol and a historic Texas courthouse before the place goes crashing into bankruptcy.
A columnist for the Chronicle argued it would spell certain doom for the George R. Brown convention center and downtown hotels. But I don't see it. Would you host your conference miles away from any city attractions or good restaurants? The Astrodome is a landmark, and no one wants to see it demolished. Least of all me: I've been a faithful Houston Astros baseball fan for over 10 years. But if the county can't come up with something better than a convention hotel, it's time to implode the dome.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
The Week in Public Finance: Public Pensions Edition2 days ago
Low Oil Prices Drain Some But Energize Most Local Economies2 days ago
Missouri Auditor Dies in 'Apparent Suicide'2 days ago
Border Surge Hampering Policing in Other Parts of Texas2 days ago
81,000 Ohioans to Lose Medicaid Coverage2 days ago
Scott Walker Says Union Protesters Prepared Him for Fighting Islamic Terrorists2 days ago