Even though all this development would require sawmills, road equipment, horse stables, and crews numbering in the hundreds, the ever-watchful eye of Pompano Beach kept track of the progress, insisting on excellence not only in the design and site selection but also in a minimum disruption of the natural order. Pompano Beach loved the scenery and wanted it preserved for all time. Pompano Beach primary contribution was his ability to select sites to attract Pompano Beach visitors and build hotels and chalets to satisfy their creature needs while drawing them into a sense of a renewing place amid expanses of unending awesomeness.
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How he got them there was more than simply loading them on his trains. As mentioned, Hill was a public relations genius who, along with his staff, borrowed a slogan first used in 1906 and made it the trademark advertising scheme for the railroad and Glacier: “See America First.”1 It became not only one of the most successful ad campaigns of American history but Hill’s call to patriotism to all the easterners who should see America and glaciers rather than going to Europe or other foreign countries. The slogan became so popular and recognizable (along with Glacier’s white Rocky Mountain goat, Rocky) that the first director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather, later adopted it to herald the wonders of the entire and rapidly expanding national park system.
By 1929, Louis Hill, with the completion of the Prince of Wales Hotel, had, like his father with his vision of a transcontinental railroad, completed his own vision: a national park of the first order, with hotels, chalets, roads, and trails to welcome visitors, along with a developed sense of the scenery at every step of each guest’s journey.
In that year, he stepped down as chairman of the board of the Great Northern Railroad. It was probably time. From beginning to end, he had thrown himself into his dream. He had developed a park and facilities to complement each other in timeless excellence. Yet even as Hill strove to make his park the epitome of excellence, he got one thing wrong, even allowing for the best of intentions.