World's most notorious prison on Alcatraz to be turned into a hotel

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London, June 16 : The United States' National Park Service, which operates 'The Rock', is planning to convert part of the prison into a hotel, to cash in on tourists' enduring fascination with one of the world's most notorious prisons on Alcatraz island.

The former prison is one of San Francisco's most popular draws, attracting more than 1.4 million tourists a year to its cellblock tours

Overnight guests would not, however, sleep in the cell blocks that once housed notorious criminals such as Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly or "Birdman of Alcatraz" Robert Stroud.

Instead the hotel would probably be housed in another part of the infamous penitentiary, Building 64, which housed the guards and boasts impressive views across the San Francisco bay, The Telegraph reported.

The National Park Service is keen to let visitors explore the rest of the 12-acre island, with its unusual scenery and wildlife, as well as areas currently closed to the public, such as the prison cinema.

"People are constantly saying they want to see more of the island," said Rich Weideman, a National Park Service spokesman.

"A hotel would be the ultimate experience in visitor access," he adde.

Alcatraz, which became a military prison in 1861 at the start of the Civil War, was a federal prison from 1933 until 1963.

Officials claimed escape was impossible because of the strong tides and cold temperatures of the surrounding waters - and there were no successful breakouts.

Alcatraz has featured in several films including 1979's Escape From Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood and The Rock, with Sean Connery, which was released in 1996.

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