The plan, which was revealed to the public just days ago, was conceived by Chief Archon George Irving Nathan Gallagher Newt, according to a source close to the Archons.
Newt, who became Chief Archon in January of this year, was the owner of a profitable recreational facility when he was chosen by lottery to serve as Archon. His plan to make The Park an attractive venue for non-residents has infuriated a number of Animal groups, who question the wisdom of inviting outsiders to spend more time in The Park.
“Personally, I don’t understand the whole thing,” says Ferit Kokarca, President of Skunks Against Gunk. “They come here and make use of our beautiful facilities, but they don’t add anything substantial to the economy,” he says.
Wellington Whistlepig, founder and current president of the Park Association of Shops and Services (PASS) concurs: “It’s not as if they buy anything from our shops,” he says.
In the meantime, The Park’s environmental groups, incensed by the plan, have decided that action speaks louder than words. Some particularly infuriated members of the group, Keep Your Paws out of Our Ponds, have set up barriers in the new tourist areas in the hope of discouraging return visitors.
Still, there are those who see positive aspects to welcoming tourists to The Park.
Park Finance Officer, Milton Struts, says studies have shown that other Parks have benefitted “not just financially, but culturally” from interacting with outsiders. And André-Philippe Campagnol, the new owner of the popular Park restaurant, The Compost Heap, says his eatery has been the beneficiary of “a significant windfall” since tourists have begun frequenting The Park.
“We’re finding that we’re able to offer a wider variety of fare this summer,” he says.