Thursday, August 17, 2006

All things considered...

we'd rather be in Philadelphia:

The mayor of a remote Russian Arctic city that was home to some of the most feared Soviet prison-camps plans to build a replica forced-labor camp and charge tourists hundreds of dollars for a few nights of incarceration, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Igor Shpektor, the mayor of Vorkuta, is looking for investors for his proposal to reconstruct one of the Stalin-era labor camps — complete with watchtowers, barbed wire, guard dogs and gruel.

He believes that there are plenty of extreme tourists who would be willing to fork over at least $450 for a three-day stay.

“I want to make a camp like those that existed in the times of the Gulag,” the mayor said... “The same regime will be followed as it was in those camps.”

....Shpektor’s proposal doesn’t stop with the recreated camp: he also suggests building a five-star hotel where those who suffer through the camp can be pampered afterwards.

“It’s definitely way off the grid of the beach-cruise, Las Vegas-type of circuit, which I think is fantastic,” says Shannon Stowell, the president of the Seattle-based Adventure Travel Trade Association.

“I think the smartest thing for them would be to make sure there are other things there for people — not many people would go clear out of their way just to stay at a concentration camp.”

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