Underground tour at Empire Mine a necessity | TheUnion.com

Underground tour at Empire Mine a necessity

Dear California State Parks:

As a hard core, dyed-in-the-wool Midwesterner, I have all my life believed that there is simply no greater place on earth to take a vacation and spend leisure time than in the state of California.

On one great vacation taken back in the 1980s, we visited the Empire Mine State Park near Grass Valley. Unfortunately, I was bitterly disappointed that there was no underground tour at that time. I actually felt kind of cheated and ripped off. This would be like getting to visit the Empire State Building in New York City and paying an admission to visit the lobby, only to find that there is no elevator ride to the top. This is completely unacceptable.

A few years ago I was positively elated to learn that they were working on developing an underground tour. I was thinking about planning a vacation to California to see this. Now I am crestfallen to learn that this will not happen after all and after the state spent $3.5 million on the project — something about "corrosion" on the beams. This, too, is completely unacceptable. This issue needs to be addressed and resolved. It is completely unfair to the people of the Golden State.

It's also unfair to millions of people like me who plan to come to California to spend their money on vacations. Without wonderful attractions like Empire Mine, we might just decide to go elsewhere. If we do come at all, there surely would be no compelling reason to visit the Nevada City/Grass Valley area.

I would like to strongly urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to get this project going again and get it finished.

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Fred M. Cain,

Topeka, Indiana

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