As part of the Community Pier Response, the St Petersburg city council met earlier this week to discuss possible changes to the future pier plans, slated to be completed in late 2018.
One of the more controversial ideas replaces a physical pier with a high tech virtual pier! Surprisingly the concept does have its backers...
Construction has yet to begin on the new pier and already there is a movement to completely scrap the plans and install a virtual pier. The futuristic idea was presented by Councilman John Lodwick.
"Just imagine what we do with a virtual pier! We could have multiple versions of piers on demand. It's a real game changer. This VR pier could satisfy everyone's idea of what they want in a pier," proclaimed Lodwick.
The Councilman is yet to find concrete support for his radical proposal of a virtual pier among other members, but it hasn't deterred him from requesting a feasibility study. And the the idea of a study is supported by the St Pete council. The appeal is in the savings a VR pier represents versus a brick and mortar pier.
Several citizens also spoke out in favor of the virtual pier. Carl Jobs, owner of Tangerine, a local software firm specializing in VR technology enthused "St Pete needs a VR Pier. Think of the jobs it would create. I envision children casting lines for VR fish and we could bring back our famous green benches! Only they'd be VR green benches. The possibilities are endless. And St Pete could be the first city in the world with a VR pier experience."
Others seemed more skeptical. "I'm all for saving money, but I'm not sure a pier that doesn't really exist would be much of a draw for our residents and visitors," said Councilwoman Megan Wilson. She doubts the value and impact of a VR pier as does the Mayor.
The idea remains on the table until the feasibility study is complete which may delay the current pier plans.
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