- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

LEAD, S.D. (AP) - Two brothers want to build what they say will be one of the world’s tallest zip lines over an old gold mine pit in western South Dakota, but Lead city officials and the pit’s owner have put the brakes on the project for now.

Zip lines are inclined cables or ropes that people suspended in harnesses slide down for amusement. Hotel owners Mark and Paul McGrane want to put a 3,000-foot zip line over the Homestake Open Cut. Riders would be 1,200 feet up and would drop 260 vertical feet.

“It looks like it could be the tallest one in the world, definitely in North America,” Mark McGrane told the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/1NuJtdL ), adding that “we need to make Lead an attraction in the Black Hills, and this would be a good start.”

The brothers this week approached the City Commission for help in acquiring about 2 acres of private land for launching and landing zones.

Todd Duex, spokesman for Open Cut owner Barrick Mining, said the company has no desire to open itself up to potential liability.

“Our attorneys feel we’d eventually be sued for an accident and with the litigious nature of our society, once they saw a gold company was involved, we’d certainly get sued,” he said.

Mayor Jerry Apa said the city is reluctant to involve itself in purchase negotiations between two private parties or to declare eminent domain to forcefully take the land, which he said would be “morally and ethically wrong.”

“I’m as pro-economic development and as for the rebirth of Lead as anyone,” Apa said. “But I don’t think taking a private entity’s land for another private enterprise is smart or fair.”

Mark McGrane said he and his brother will keep pushing their project.

“There’s plenty of room on Main Street for new businesses,” he said. “We’re a little discouraged, but we’re not going to stop now.”


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide