Dakota pipeline re-purposed as world's most impressive hamster tube
STANDING ROCK – After President Hillary Rodham Clinton quashed the Dakota Access Pipeline in Februrary, residents of North and South Dakota feared an economic downturn. Those fears have turned out to be gloriously misplaced: In fact, tourism in the Dakotas has boomed since city and state officials decided to convert all three hundred miles of the abandoned Dakota Access Pipeline into the world’s longest and most impressive hamster tube.
“Who would have guessed there are so many hamster-tourists?” said South Dakota Business District Coordinator Willis Fumes.
According to Tourism International, a tourism think tank, research shows that the number of tourists who base their travel plans on hamster-related calculations is "actually a miniscule percentage of American travel overall." But businesses, hotels and restaurants located near the former pipeline are nonetheless thriving "because up to this point – there were literally no tourism destinations that catered to this niche market," according to the think tank.
‘Hamsterheads’, Fumes noted, spend money in ways that other tourists don’t. “Our sunflower seed producers love these people and so too does our newly revived cedar shavings industry,” he says.
The economic up-side doesn’t stop there.
Meg Quilby, who runs a tee-shirt boutique catering to Hamsterheads, says tee-shirts with slogans such as “I’m With fluffy” and “Fill the Other Cheek” are selling like hotcakes.
From now until October, hamster enthusiasts can hike and camp along the adjoining Habi Trail, while their diminutive pets enjoy the unfettered freedom that comes from racing aimlessly down a long tube without interruption, and beyond the tyranny of large wheels that literally get you no where no matter how fast you go.
“Human Hamsterheads are a relatively well-behaved group too,” Fumes said.
Not everyoneshares Fumes' positive opinion of Hamsterheads. Milford Deletson of Vermillion, South Dakota says he’d be more inclined to welcome them if they respected local poop and scoop ordinances.
“Some people are never happy,” Fumes said.