National Park Service Considering Purchase of Grant’s Farm

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{Hardscrabble – built by the 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant, located at Grant's Farm}

There are many questions still remaining, but the Busch family is in talks with the National Park Service to have Grant's Farm transfered to the National Park Service. The 281-acre park being home to more than 100 species of animals, many in the Deer Park open preserve viewed from the visitor tram. The park is also the site of the house built Ulysses S. Grant in 1855, where he lived during the period between the Mexican-American and Civil Wars.

Grant's Farm doesn't lack for history. In addition to Grant's home and historical menagerie of animals, the farm is a unique example of American cultural royalty. The Busch Family has owned the property for more than 100 years and opened for public tours in 1955. The park sees more than half a million visitors each year. Near the park's entrance is the 10-acre Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, currently administered by the Superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

The full story can be found on stltoday.com and according to the Post-Dispatch, A-B InBev has not pushed for the sale or transfer of the park which loses about $3.5M a year. But the question remains as to what A-B InBev's long term interest is in operating Grant's Farm. For those who would like to see it remain just as it is today, what's the most likely way to do so?

A big part of the appeal of Grant's Farm is the appearance of somewhat less than onerous rules than a zoo or other attraction. You can't feed the camels at the St. Louis Zoo. You don't ride in a an open vehicle through a field of some of the rarest large animals in the world. How much would its management by the National Park Service change the experience? Could they contract with Miller Brewing Co. to provide beer? It's hard to see A-B InBev taking a loss to run the inherited attraction for decades to come. In general, I would favor the transfer as a way to permanently preserve much, if not all, of what makes Grant's Farm special.


{the Clydesdale stables at Grant's Farm}

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