Antelope Island is quite probably the most famous non-tourist attraction in Utah.
Since 1983, the causeway linking the island - home to a large herd of wild buffalo - to the mainland has been inundated. But now that Great Salt Lake waters are receding, a move is afoot to restore the causeway and lure millions of cash-laden tourists to the island.Rep. Scott Holt, R-Syracuse, wants $3.8 million in surplus money to start the project, then fund the balance of the $11 million project with a $5-per-car admission to Antelope Island.
The House Transportation and Public Safety Committee voted 10-1 in favor of Holt's bill, though several members expressed reservations. Most, however, were enthusiastic.
"We put a lot of money into the Burr Trail to benefit that part of the state," said Rep. Dan Tuttle, D-West Valley. "This would benefit a lot more people."
Proponents argue that the economic benefits to the state will far exceed whatever it costs to restore the causeway. When the road was last opened, Antelope Island was the state's second most popular tourist attraction - second only to Temple Square.
Because of its price tag, the measure will be held in the House Rules Committee.