CLAYTON, MO (KMOX) – After an hour of public comments, it was decided Tuesday night: Creve Coeur Park is receiving a zip line course.
The course will be built and operated by a private company, Go Ape Inc. KMOX asked St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, if this fails, and no one uses it or the company bails, is the county going to lose money?
“We think this is going to be successful. That’s what I’m looking at, a successful venture for the park,” he said. “This is not going to fail, I’m not even going to talk about failure, it’s nonexistent. The park people have researched this.”
The course is expected to bring in between $45,000 and $60,000 for the St. Louis County Parks & Recreation Department in the first year, but Dooley says he has no idea how much Go Ape stands to gain.
“I really don’t know that particular answer but, again, from my perspective, it’s not about the money. It’s about the different, diverse activities within our park,” he said.
More than a dozen residents came out to speak against the zip line proposal Tuesday night, some saying it would destroy wildlife populations, others worried that screaming zip liners would harm the tranquility of the park.
Bill sponsor Kathleen Burkett says she didn’t know people felt this strongly. “Up to this point, actually maybe last week was the first time I really saw some true opposition to it. Up until that point, it was just kind of a non-issue.”
Go Ape has three other courses, all of them in public parks. Burkett added that the company’s name was probably hurting its image, because zip lines are relatively quiet compared to other park activities like baseball games and boat racing.