When blessed with one of the most moving natural vistas on the face of the earth, the entrepreneurial heroes of America can be relied upon to do the right thing: build a bunch of crap around it to ruin the view. For $$$!

The LA Times reports on two building projects on or in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon, both of which are currently in the advanced planning stages, and both of which sound terrible. The first is a plan for "restaurants, hotels and shops" on Navajo Indian land east of the canyon's South Rim—development that would mar the view of those gazing across the canyon. The coup de grace of those development plans: a fucking elevator to the canyon floor.

The proposed Grand Canyon Escalade gondola would afford a rare opportunity for tourists to reach the canyon floor, said developer R. Lamar Whitmer, who is working with the Navajo.

The park service offers nothing more than "a drive-by wilderness experience," Whitmer said. "The average person can't ride a mule to the bottom of the canyon. We want them to feel the canyon from the bottom."

A mechanized gondola ride to the floor of the Grand Canyon, just like they have at Disney World. Spectacular idea, greedy developer R. Lamar Whitmer. "The needs of the gondola industry come first," as our nation's founders always said.

You won't want to miss the Times' story of the other development as well, which features another developer who actually got an entire town incorporated just to enable his own water-sucking development plans, a level of abuse of the spirit of our nation's laws that puts greedy developer R. Lamar Whitmer to shame in the greedy developer sweepstakes.

We can only hope that our children's children will be able to visit the Grand Canyon and take an air-conditioned ride to its parched, drought-plagued floor, all without leaving the comfort of their spaceship's snack bar.

[Photo of land ripe for some escalators: Flickr]