Is the End of Howe Caverns Near?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I found this remarkable post at Slums Along the Mohawk: "Howe Caverns Sabotages Tourism Promotion Program." Well, my attention was riveted when I read that.

Some internal bickering within the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce has made some waves. The new owners of Howe Caverns are threatening to withdraw from the Chamber's "I Love NY" program.

However, it is clear what is really going on: Howe Caverns’ new ownership is seeking to sabotage efforts to promote the Caverns. Why would Howe Caverns want to sabotage itself? The answer is simple. Last year, the world-famous tourist site was purchased by Emil Galasso, President of Cobleskill Stone Products. This company owns most of the land surrounding Howe Caverns and operates a large-scale quarry on this very land. Within the caverns is something more valuable than a tourist attraction. The caves are filled with extremely valuable pharmaceutical-grade limestone.

This is shocking news, to me. With the tourist industry in New York at an all time low (due mainly to taxes, high gas costs, and high costs of running a business), the last thing we need is for a major Upstate attraction to shut down. Howe Caverns has a shaky history, to be sure, but I thought we were over that. It would be criminal to close the caverns and make the place a pharmaceutical mine.

I have yet to get my kids to the caverns, as they have never been. I'd better not delay much longer lest our experience of the Caverns is confined to calcium tablets or bath soaps.

3 remarks
Laurie said...

I went there as a Girl Scout probably 12 years ago. (The council got a deal on group sales tickets, I guess.) What a scary idea, and that would be sad if the caverns closed.

2:40 AM  
Mrs. W said...

I hear that Secret Caverns is a better place to go anyway. Not that it excuses Howe's covert plan to close.

3:55 AM  
Mrs Mecomber said...

I've never been to Secret Caverns, but I'd like to. I've been to Howe Caverns twice in my lifetime, so I am "used" to it. Howe Caverns was always, and became, and still is, very hyped. It's not exactly a purebred nature trail, ya know what I mean? Wedding hearts carved on the floor, etc. It's been thoroughly marketed. But still, it's a NEW YORK cave.

I'll have to look into Secret Caverns. The reason we haven't been to Howe is because it's been so expensive. Group deals are so nice! Our family constitutes half a group... I do try to convince tourist places of that, but they seem so reluctant. ;) Anything for a deal!

Thanks for your comments, ladies.

9:18 AM  

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