State of Alabama, zip line owner at odds over beach project

Beach at sunset
(Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

Beach at sunset (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s attempt to rebuild its beachfront state park using oil spill money is again embroiled in controversy.

Businessman Tom Schlinkert says officials are shutting down his zip line adventure ride at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores and refusing him $40,000 in compensation as construction continues on a new coastal hotel. That project is being funded in part with BP money, even though a hurricane destroyed the old lodge years before the oil spill.

Schlinkert says he built the zip line at a cost of $750,000, and the attraction has lured thousands of visitors. He says it has provided more than $450,000 in revenue-sharing and tax revenues for state and local governments.

The state says the zip line ride doesn’t fit its future plans for the park.