Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
March 4, 2010
The 21-story Heritage Grand Hotel — centerpiece of the abandoned Heritage USA conservative Christian theme park — may be torn down by July 2010.
For years the hotel has been owned by MorningStar Ministries, which has promised to turn it into a “Refirement Center” — a retirement center that would “re-fire” the Christian zeal of its inhabitants. But according to an article in the Rock Hill Herald, not enough retiree Christians have bought condos in the abandoned building, erected by disgraced televangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker as part of their PTL ministry pseudo-Disneyland.
County officials, who originally wanted to demolish the hotel in 2007, claim that they’ve waited long enough, and will condemn the Heritage Grand to the wrecking ball if MorningStar can’t make good on its promises.
We’re not sure which is worse — from a tourism perspective — a pile of rubble or a 21-story building filled with proselytizing old people. Our greatest concern is that the toppling of the Heritage Grand will have a ripple effect, threatening the theme park’s more interesting ruins, such as its green-and-purple Christian castle.
We hope that our fears are unwarranted, and they may be. If Holy Land USA is any indicator, abandoned religious theme parks grow more interesting as they crumble, and they seem to hang around a lot longer than their pagan counterparts.
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