Monday, June 16, 2008

Alcatraz to open as a hotel

This Civil War fortress has been not just a prison but also the first lighthouse on the West Coast of the US. It was also a bird sanctuary and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement. Now a part of it may become a hotel.

For decades it was the island every resident dreamed of escaping from. Now the managers of Alcatraz island, home to one of the world's most notorious prisons, are hoping to cash in on tourists' enduring fascination with it. The United States' National Park Service, which operates 'The Rock', is planning to convert part of the prison into a hotel so that eager visitors can enjoy a fuller experience of the island.

Overnight guests would not, however, sleep in the cell blocks that once housed notorious criminals such as Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly or "Birdman of Alcatraz" Robert Stroud. Instead the hotel would probably be housed in another part of the infamous penitentiary, Building 64, which housed the guards and boasts impressive views across the San Francisco bay. (Link)

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