You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.
by Gary Schoichet
“IT’S A NICE PLACE TO VISIT but an even greater place to live and work!” proclaimed the signs in block letters surrounding Grand Canyon National Park as Donald Trump announced plans to build residential and office condominiums on the floor of the canyon, on a platform over the Colorado River.
Reacting to news that funding for the national park is lagging, Trump said that he would, as a public service, build housing for wealthy people who appreciated natural beauty and wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, and office space for a few Fortune 500 companies who couldn’t care less. “There will be no separate doors for those paying less because there will be no one paying less,” he said.
The plan, he said, is to “construct a platform like they are building in Manhattan over the Penn Yards, and on top of that we will put four magnificent buildings, one for each direction, of no more than 100 floors with 10 foot ceilings,” said the real estate developer. All of the amenities will be inside the complex, to be known as Donald Trump’s Grand Canyon Residences, and the outside walls will be covered in a material that resembles the walls of the Grand Canyon so that when you look at them you will think you’re seeing a reflection of the canyon walls. The platform will rise 100 feet from the river, and the underside will have computerized lights that will simulate day and night and all the gradations in between, said Trump. “We want the Grand Canyon to look like the Grand Canyon as done by Trump, not by Disney,” he said.
Trump announced his plan after news of plans by the Italy-based Stilo Group to build a town with 2,200 homes and three million square feet commercial space beyond the southern rim of the canyon. “Who do they think they are,” said Trump, “coming here from Italy and despoiling one of our most beautiful natural resources? I have a good mind to build a condo development amidst the ruins of Pompey.”
Because of the vastness of the Grand Canyon, Trump said that his project would be but a speck in the grand scheme of the whole. Using an idea from Stilo, which is planning a cable car to take people to the canyon floor (“over my dead body,” said Trump), his luxury buildings will use cable cars stretching from the rims to transport residents to and from their homes. “The engineers and architects are still figuring the best way to bring in water and take out waste, probably by mule,” Trump said. “I’m a conservationist, after all.” He added that letting waste flow into the Colorado River would “affect drinking and irrigation, and litigation from so-called conservationists, who would rather see our national parks ‘socialized,’ might never end.”
Weighing in, President Obama reminded people that one of his first campaign promises was to protect America’s natural resources from commercial exploitation and Donald Trump. “There will be no boots, I mean apartments, on the ground of the Grand Canyon while I am president,” he said.
After unveiling his plan, Trump made a further announcement. “These will be the last condos and rentals I will construct. After this I will concentrate on building golf courses in places where people don’t want them.”
Gary Schoichet is a prize-winning labor journalist, editor, and photographer. He writes and photographs what he sees. He nevertheless still has a sense of humor.