The New Wild West

Gates’ Tech City On A Hill

In The Arizona Desert Bill Gates Plans A Master Tech Community

possibly a modern-day EPCOT Center


by Robert Rowsey

Belmont, Gates' shining tech hub city on a hill of the future may do what Dinsey's EPCOT Center could not.
Belmont, Gates’ shining tech hub city on a hill of the future may do what Dinsey’s EPCOT Center could not.

I saw a click-bait article on my Facebook feed today and rather than follow it down its link rabbit hole I googled the main headline points and came up with this story, and then this story here about how Bill Gates recently bought 25,000 acres of desert sand, rock, and cactus in Tonopah, Arizona, for 80 million dollars and plans to turn it into a city with smart cars and other high tech features: ‘…Gates could do what Disney could not, because he has more control over the outcome, and because technology has advanced to a level that makes the overall vision more viable.’

Gates’ shining city in the desert will be called Belmont.

One news site quotes the Gates-owned real estate company who organized the purchase, Belmont Partners, as saying in a press release, “Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs”.

While this master plan can and should be replicated elsewhere, my first thought was, “Who’s going to provide the nightclubs and entertainment for the geeks?”

Okay, no seriously, what a great idea. Do you know how much BLM land may be freed up for development in the next three to seven years if Trump gets his way? Isn’t 95 percent of Nevada federal land that’s basically unused? Think of all the mega-casinos and convention centers that could be built.

And what about all the Appalachian towns and Rust-Belt cities in the Northeast that are dying because industry left them? Some smart tech billionaire could approach their city planners and say, “Right, let me invest all this money in your tired but scrappy little old town and I’ll turn it into a high-technology burg of the future with free high-speed internet for all but you give me and my company bargain basement deals and zoning rights on all the real estate you have for sale and 50 percent of all the returns your town makes in productivity and profit for the next fifty years.”

Or something like that. You get the idea. There is SO MUCH investment potential in vast swathes of this gigantic country if more people with the means like Bill Gates were allowed to take the chance. Positive change would happen fast!

RR

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