Around Flight 93 Memorial, a Tourist Wasteland

Services in short supply ahead of new memorial's opening
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2011 10:35 AM CDT
This artist's rendering provided by the National Parks Service shows a view of the first phase of the Flight 93 memorial. The dedication of the first phase is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2011.   (Olek Novak-Zemplinski)
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(Newser) – Residents near where Flight 93 crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania once feared that souvenir hawkers and fast-food entrepreneurs would try to cash in on the 9/11 memorial. The opposite has been the case, the Wall Street Journal finds. The memorial, which opens next month, is expected to draw nearly a quarter of a million visitors a year, but the area is underserved by businesses, meaning travelers will have a hard time finding a meal or a place to stay anywhere near the site—especially if they come by the busload.

The county could definitely use more jobs, but a lack of infrastructure and the weak economy are discouraging people from starting new businesses, as is a wish not to be seen to be exploiting the tragedy. Visitors "are here to pay their respects and I don't want to take advantage of people—but of course I'm hoping business improves," says the owner of a sports bar a few miles away from the memorial.

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