The Bureau of Reclamation is now building the nation's first boondoggle tourist stop. Thanks to cost overruns and management neglect, the Hoover Dam visitor center in southern Nevada will cost $119 million instead of an estimated $32 million. Scheduled to be finished in 1995, the 44,000-square-foot center, which sits on the side of a cliff, features a five-story parking garage and two elevators worth $16 million. Daniel Beard, the new commissioner of Reclamation who pushed for a formal review of the project, told the Washington Post, "... it's a tragedy that we spent this much money. It destroys the credibility of federal agencies." Eventually, construction costs will be passed on to municipal and rural electric co-ops that buy power from the Hoover Dam complex. That doesn't please officials at the Overton Power District, which will have to raise prices for its 4,000 customers by roughly 25 percent. Administrative assistant for Overton, Delmar Leatham, says, "the whole project is absurd. It is Disneyland in the desert."
- Larry Glickfeld on New documentary offers a sharp look at the West’s water crisis
- Barbara Cella on Meet the aspiring ranger locked out by National Park Service practices
- Randy Welch on Biking bill is a smokescreen for opening up wilderness
- Todd McWelch on Biking bill is a smokescreen for opening up wilderness
- Tom Darnell on In Northern New Mexico, a piñon-nut culture is vanishing