Guest Editorial: Mickey Mouse

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Dubbed “the happiest place on earth,” Disneyland used to be a place for nearly everyone to enjoy. But today, with skyrocketing ticket prices, the long promoted place “made for you and me,” seems increasingly made for someone else.

If we aren’t careful, McDowell Sonoran Preserve could become a desert Disneyland.

Adding to their long list of half-truths, supporters of the Desert Discovery Center (renamed Desert Edge) are now claiming that voting Yes on Proposition 420 will essentially make the Preserve exclusive for only a select few to enjoy. While on the other hand, they say the Desert Edge project promotes inclusiveness and welcomes all. What these advocates forgot to mention is that Desert Edge will be welcoming to all – but at a price.

Under their current proposed business plan, Desert Edge is expected to have an annual budget of $6 million with an operation deficit between $1.8 and $3 million. How do they plan to make up those costs? The taxpayers of course but also by charging an admission fee for both Scottsdale citizens and visitors. Scottsdale residents and visitors will have to pay $14.25 for admission to the Desert Edge. That’s a $57 admission fee for a family of four.

Feeling oh so generous you to the Scottsdale community, supporters of Desert Edge are offering Scottsdale residents the chance to enjoy the Desert Edge for free once per month. Forget that Scottsdale citizens have already taxed themselves $1.7 billion dollars to build the Preserve. Now supporters are asking residents to agree to spend another $70 million to build their tourism center and then charge them more when they feel like enjoying nature in their man-made contraption.

Proposition 420 simply allows you to vote on the Desert Edge at some point in the future. Project supporters don’t want that to happen because they know how difficult it would be to pass. So they are resorting to the “throw everything up against the Proposition 420 wall” strategy and hope some of it sticks. It won’t. Because their approach is more Mickey Mouse, and Orlando, than Scottsdale.