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Facts about the Clarksville Sky Ride 5-23-07

By The Associated Press
THE ATTRACTION: The Clarksville Sky Ride originally opened in 1961 and, in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, attracted 100,000 visitors each year. It is essentially a ski lift that carries people, two to a bench, 1,500 feet up the side of a hill to what is considered the highest bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. There, they can climb a five-story tower and see a view of 800 square miles.

THE DEVELOPER'S PLANS: The sky ride closed in 1996. Bill McMurtry of Clarksville bought it in 2002 and has spent $600,000 to refurbish it. He plans to open the ride this summer, but hasn't set a specific date.

THE PROBLEM
: The sky ride was built in 1961 atop a burial ground for the Sac and Fox Nation. The Oklahoma-based tribe opposes reopening of the sky ride, believing it desecrates the sacred ground. A spokeswoman says the Sac and Fox may seek legal means to stop the opening. McMurtry said he has done everything possible to protect the burial mound.
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