Big Apple has a Little Island
A whimsical new park that appears to float on pilings above the Hudson River has opened to the public just off the Manhattan shoreline. The new park, called Little Island, was built with $260 million from the foundation of Barry Diller, the former 20th Century Fox CEO, and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Little Island's flowers, trees and performance spaces rest on 132 concrete pots that the park's creators call tulip pots. The pots are set on pilings of different heights, so that paths wind through the 2.4-acre park at a gentle, rolling grade. The park is reachable by two bridges. Diller, also a major donor to the nearby High Line, has spoken of Little Island as an enchanted forest or a visit to Oz. "All of it is an oasis of everything fun, whimsical, playful that we can conjure," he says in a video on the park's website.
National parks overload
Some national parks might be overrun by long lines, no parking and overcrowded attractions this summer. Before the summer even started, some national parks had shattered their visitation records. At Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, visitation was up nearly 50% from the same time in 2019. Visitation was also up in Utah's Zion and Arches national parks. Officials at Arches turn tourists away from the park every day because it is full. At the Grand Canyon, tourists can wait in line for hours to enter the park or find parking. National Park Service officials have said the best way to experience the parks during a crowded season is to plan ahead and be flexible. Tourists can reduce the time they spend waiting at an entrance station by buying a national parks pass online before they head to a park.
Wis. Dells needs workers
Wisconsin Dells is hoping that more tourism workers will arrive during the summer. "We don't have the young people that we used to have and then we put on top of that, the enhanced unemployment," said Tom Diehl, president of the Attractions Association and Tommy Bartlett Inc. in Wisconsin Dells. Diehl said there's also a shortage of J1 workers from other countries who come to the U.S. on work visas. Noah's Ark Water Park General Manager Roland Reyes said the park is working to get back to a full staff of 500 water park employees. He said he expects more J1 workers as the summer continues. "We're very optimistic, so much so that we've added eight operating days to our calendar season," Reyes said. Noah's Ark will now be open Tuesdays from June 22 through Aug. 10, when they were previously planning to close.