Monday, May 9, 2011

American Ghost Counties

American Ghost Counties
 American 'ghost counties' High unemployment and foreclosure rates, combined with overbuilding before the economy went south, have meant that once-booming areas – many of them tourist destinations -- have become modern-day "ghost counties." We review 10 American cities with vacancy rates of more than 55 percent, according to 24/7 Wall St.
 Lake County, Mich.
Long a vacation and fishing destination for residents of nearby industrial centers, such as a once-booming city and a car-centric city, Lake County has seen its fortunes decline as the number of second-home owners there has dropped.

Michigan attractions:
The capital city
Sculpture gardens and park
Home to a magical place
 Vilas County, Wis.
This county, located on Wisconsin's northern border,has depended on tourism and logging, forestry and construction industries – all of which have declined dramatically during the recession.

Wisconsin attractions:
Take in some rides
The state's largest annual event
An award-winning garden
 Summit County, Co.
A major drop in revenue in this area,home to several ski resorts west of its capital city, has hit hard, and property values are projected to keep falling.

Colorado attractions:
Stunning waterfalls
Historic university
A towering mountain
 Worcester County, Md.
The easternmost county in the state has a distinctive location (see map) but has experienced an unenviable drop in its tax base.

Maryland attractions:
See more than 600 species
Fun for the whole family
The house of a famous author
 Mono County, Calif.
Ironically home to an official "gold rush" town, this county near a major mountain chain (see scenic photos) and a national park  in the east-central part of the state has seen a huge drop in property tax receipts.

California attractions:
One of the top construction projects of the 20th century
A $1.3 billion center
World's richest deposit of Ice Age fossils
 Dare County, N.C.
Yet another vacation destination hard-hit by huge drops in tourism, Dare County's seaside location hasn't been able to weather the recent economic storm without drops in the tax base and county services. Who is the town named after?

North Carolina attractions:
A spectacular mansion
Culture, history & science center
Where an American novelist is buried
 Dukes County, Mass.
Still home to a popular summer destination,Dukes County now empties during the colder months of the year, and property values have fallen accordingly. Who were the original inhabitants?

Massachusetts attractions:
Trail of historic sites
America's oldest park
The home of a famous essayist
 Sawyer County, Wis.
This county in the northwest corner of Wisconsin  has been hit hard by a drop in visitors coming for outdoor recreation opportunities. Who is the county named for?

Wisconsin attractions:
Extreme bowling
The Plunge
Major golfing events
 Burnett County, Wis.
This western Wisconsin county, not far from a twin city, has faced a decline in population and a foreclosure wave that have devastated its vacation home communities.

Wisconsin attractions:
Go Extreme
One of the country's five Great Lakes
Museum of hot rides
Aitkin County, Minn.
This recreational hub in north-central Minnesota, like other rural tourist regions, has been hit hard by the recession. It's a hub for fishing and a winter sport.