By Tim Binnall
Officials in California are reportedly debating the future of the famed Queen Mary ship after it has come to light that the purportedly haunted vessel and wildly popular tourist destination has fallen into a worrisome state of disrepair. The past few years have not been kind to the majestic ocean liner, which was built in 1936 and has been docked at the city of Long Beach since 1964, as an inspection of the ship found that it needed approximately $23 million in repairs to prevent it from possibly capsizing. Making matters all the more uncertain, control of the vessel reverted back to the city earlier this summer when the company that had been operating the site threw in the proverbial towel after failing to turn a profit.
Left with the orphaned and unsteady tourist attraction on their hands, the city commissioned a study to look at all possible options for what to do with the Queen Mary. The scenarios explored centered around either saving or scrapping the ship. Hopes that the assessment might point in an obvious direction were dashed as it found that it will cost the city more than $100 million to pursue any action, whether it be restoring or sinking the vessel. In light of that, officials in Long Beach have indicated that they intend to try and save the haunted vessel since it has become one of the city's defining landmarks over the decades and still generates a considerable amount of revenue.
"I think most cities would die for an opportunity to have a ship like the Queen Mary that brings 1.6 million annual visitors," Councilmember Cindy Allen mused, "that's an incredible number, and $94 million in economic impact." With that in mind, officials are still debating how best to save the vessel with two possibilities on the table: repair the ship where it currently sits, which they believe will allow it to last another 25 years, or dry-dock the cruise liner, which could keep it operating for another century. While both options are rather costly, it would appear that at least for now the Queen Mary is not yet in danger of 'crossing over' and its tumultuous current state may best be described as a near-death experience.