Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Pile of Dirt Becomes a Gold Mine

Instead of focusing on the political fight between the ALP and the UPP - let's focus on whether ANTIGUANS are better off with having the highest point on our island named Boggy Peak or Mount Obama.

Boggy Peak is not a tourist attraction. No one takes pictures of Boggy Peak. Few people travel to it's summit because of the bad road. It's just a pile of dirt that nobody cares about and doesn't make anybody any money. Who cares if it's called Boggy Peak or John's Peak or whatever. The name Boggy Peak doesn't help any Antiguans make a better life for themselves.

On the contrary, it cost Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and the Antiguan taxpayers NOTHING to put money in the pockets of Antiguans. The simple act of changing the name of "Boggy Peak" to "Mount Obama" transforms a pile of dirt into a gold mine. A letter to the editor in yesterday's Antigua Sun explains:

Not one dollar has been made off this mighty mound of dirt until the PM called it “Mount Obama” Now I hear there are tours and talks of T-shirts, paper weights and postcards, maybe even a key chain or two, and I hear the change a jingling in peoples pockets, as soon vendors will probably open up shop at the base. It’s only a matter of time till someone opens the shop at the top. What a nice place for a restaurant, how about an “Obama Burger” with a heavy helping of tolerance. Move over Shirley Heights here come “Mount Obama”. What time does the ski lift open?

Tour operators, taxi drivers, souvenir vendors and many more business minded Antiguans can make good money off of a decision that didn't take any time or cost any taxpayer money to make. That's not the only benefit. This decision, which didn't cost taxpayers a cent, generated millions of dollars in free publicity for our island.

This issue isn't about ALP or UPP. The bottom line is that Boggy Peak didn't make anybody any money. Mount Obama already generated millions of dollars worth of publicity and it turns a pile of dirt into a genuine tourist attraction.

Now, who is going to be the first person to sell me my "I climbed Mount Obama" t-shirt?

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