The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 12, 1979-Page 15
Wishing you were here AP Photo
Tourists have their picture taken by a family member as they pose in-front of Commerce Secretary said yesterday that tourism around troubled plant has
the cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Pennsylvania's recently increased.
Tourists flock to nuclear accident site
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP)-The
accident that damaged the Three Mile
Island nuclear power plant and prom-
pted thousands to flee their homes may
turn into a blessing for Pennsylvania's
tourism industry, the state's commerce
secretary said yesterday.
"I think Three Mile Island is
becoming a tourist attraction of its own.
I don't think there's any question but
that spot is and can be ... a significant
tourist attraction," said James Bodine.
HE ALSO SAID the publicity brought
on by the accident, which damaged the
core of a reactor and resulted in some
release of radioactive material, has put
the area on the map.
"Pennsylvania's got more visibility
than it has had in a long, long time," he
said at a news conference. "Visibility is
the name of the game when it comes to
the travel industry."
Tourism is the state's second largest
turing-bringing in an estimated $4.7
billion a year. But an impending gas
shortage that could curb vacation
travel and the stigma of Three Mile
Island, just south of this capitol city,
threatened to cut tourism, Bodine said.
"I THINK WE can take these things,
which a1 their surface appear to be
negative, and I think we can make them
positive," Bodine said.
The Commerce Department sur-
veyed 10 travel-related industries in the
area and estimated their losses due to
the March 28 reactor accident at $1.5
million. There is no estimate of total
losses from canceled conventions or
tourists who shunned the area.
"The industry was hit very hard at
the time of the accident," said Bodine.
"I think the bottom line is very
clearly that there is hope the industry
can recover from the losses. However, I
don't think it can fully recover by sit-
ting on its hands. I think we need to,
promote travel in Pennsylvania even
more strongly than we intended to
before," he added.
BODINE WANTS the next state
budget to include a $1 million fund to be
used to promote tourism and lure
Part of the sales pitch will be to tell
Pennsylvanians to stay in Pen-
nsylvania on their .vacations. In
surrounding states, the appeal will be
for travelers to take a short trip here
and save on gas.
Curious tourists routinely jam the
road to look at the mammoth Three
Mile Island plant. Many of them pose
for pictures against the background of
the plant's 372-foot-high cooling towers.
Enterprising merchants have been
hawking such things as T-shirts and
"Canned Radiation," souvenirs of the
worst accident in the nation's commer-
cial nuclear power program.
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create low-frequency vibrations that
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If the sound is regular and rhythmic, a
shark may ignore it, National
Geographic says. But if it is irregular,
indicating thrashing or struggling, the
shark may sense easy prey and attack.
Now open 11:30 A.M.
1 P.M. Sat.-Sun.
at the UNION
Beverage cost too high, club charges
LANSING (UPI)-The Michigan
United Conservation Clubs (MUCC)
which spearheaded the 1976 drive to
ban non-returnable bottles, accused
some beverage firms and retailers
yesterday of gouging Michigan con-
sumers with price hikes unrelated to
the new bottle law.
"Overall, the Michigan United Con-
servation Clubs has been quite pleased
with the implementation of Michigan's
new bottle biil," said MUCC Executive
Director Thomas Washington.
"THE ONLY development troubling
MUCC and others in Michigan is a
thinly disguised attempt by some
within the beverage industry to gouge
Michigan consumers with price in-
creases which they attribute to the bot-
Washington told a legislative com-
mittee reviewing the bottle law that
prices are being increased "to increase
their profits, to create consumer
resistance to the law in hopes of a
repeal or to show others outside of
Michigan that a deposit law is in-
He said similar price increases have
not been found in Vermont and Oregon,
which have bottle laws comparable to
Michigan's and noted that price hikes in
this state spurred a legal investigation
o~possible price fixing.
WASHINGTON SAID returnable
packages always have been "substan-
tially cheaper because of reduced
packaging costs realized by reuse of
"The point is that factors having
nothing to do with the deposit law have
contributed to the cost of manufac-
turing, distributing and selling beer in
Michigan," he said.
"What is dishonest and misleading is
for bottle bill opponents to blame every
beverage price increase on a deposit