Opinion Brief

Alabama's lost-luggage superstore

Ever wonder what happens to the contents of unclaimed luggage? Drop by this unique discount store in Scottsboro, Ala.

The video: Never picked up your missing luggage after the airline lost (and then found) it? That's where the Unclaimed Baggage Center comes in. The 40,000-square-foot superstore in Scottsboro, Ala. has an exclusive deal with airlines that allows it to take the small percentage of parcels that aren't claimed after 90 days. The store empties those bags and stocks its shelves with 7,000 items a day — clothing, electronics, even the bags themselves — and sells them at a fraction of their value. Among the store's more curious deals: A live rattlesnake, a full suit of armor, and ancient Egyptian artifacts. Thanks in part to spurts of media coverage over the years, the center has become an offbeat tourist attraction, boasting more than one million bargain-hunting visitors per year.The reaction: "Tourists look for the extreme, unique, off-the-beaten-path places to enjoy," says J.J. Parsons of the local Chamber of Commerce, as quoted by by The Daily Sentinel. "This is the only attraction of its kind in the world." Customer Mary Cooke-Hite, as quoted by Fox News, agrees, saying that visiting the superstore is "like a treasure hunt." Check out a video of the mecca for lost baggage.

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