- Yes: 88 (66%)
- No: 46 (34%)
Much of Norbeck's life was dedicated to opening the Black Hills to more public use. That his cabin should become the private playground of "favored guests" of the ruling political regime flies in the face of Norbeck's values.
If we really want to get Norbeckian, we should be looking for ways to make as much money off the cabin as possible. Game Fish and Parks, which manages Valhalla, says the cabin generates maybe $4500 in revenue each year. Let's see... isolated cabin in the woods, six bedrooms, great hiking and biking and horseback riding, near several major attractions... would $100 a night be too low? At that rate, I think we could draw users for at least 180 days a year... $18,000 right there, quadruple the current revenue. And the sitting governor and his political friends could get in line to rent it right along with everyone else.
One of my good Democrat friends, Mr. Kurtz, says the governor needs a secure retreat, but I must differ. Every governor can use a vacation, sure, but can't he buy his own cabin at the lake like the rest of us? Let's not get too big for our britches: South Dakota's governor is not the President with the Secret Service and the nuclear football. Security is obviously not a concern in a state where the only things standing between citizens and the governor at work are a secretary and a wooden door. What's the point of a secure hidden location for the governor when he probably drives himself to Wal-Mart to pick up fishing tackle? The last thing we need to spend state money on is the crazy notion that our governor needs a secret compound to hide in.
The Peter Norbeck cabin in Custer State Park is a great public asset. We should make the most of it. Open it to the public. Rent it out to supplement the Sylvan Lake Lodge and other fancy lodging in our busiest state park.