Will Neverland become a California state park?
July 13, 2010
When the idea was first proposed, it was shot down, but once again, there is serious talk of converting Neverland into a California state park. [Sacramento Bee]
The Santa Barbara County estate of the late pop singer Michael Jackson is back in the news. A resolution is moving forward in Sacramento to order state parks officials to study the feasibility of converting the 2,600-acre property into a state park.
The California chapter of the NAACP fully supports the idea. State Assembly Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles] plans to formally introduce the legislation.
“If they want to do it, I think it would be a great venture for the Parks Department of the state given the worldwide success (of Michael Jackson) and the fact that the state is lucky to have this property in our state,” Davis said.
Neverland is controlled by Santa Monica-based Colony Capitol LCC, a private- equity firm that acquired the ranch when Jackson was facing foreclosure in 2008. The company declined to comment, though company President Thomas J. Barrack Jr. has said in previous interviews that he hoped to sell it for more than $100 million.
Alice Huffman, who is president of the California NAACP, also serves on the state parks commission. She compares Neverland to other popular tourist attractions like Graceland and Hearst Castle and thinks a state park would be a popular draw.
Initial talk of opening Neverland to the public was dismissed last summer by Santa Barbara County officials, concerned by the possibility of too much traffic on the narrow Figueroa Mountain Road in Los Olivos where Neverland is located.