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Neverland Ranch may open gates for tourists

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Michael Jackson fans around the world may just get to experience the infamous Neverland Ranch. The 2,676 acre park and the former home of the “King of Pop” may become California’s next state park.

The Santa Barbara estate is currently owned by the Jacksons and Colony Capital Investment Group, but California Assemblyman, Mike Davis has presented the idea that the state buy the property.

Back when the ranch was up-and-running, it featured a private zoo, amusement park and an 80-seat theater. Davis, who is chairman on the Assembly Committee for Arts, Entertainment and Tourism in California, said “It will absolutely be a destination for many who admire the performing arts and music.”

Although the states budget is one of the tightest in the country, a $19 billion deficit, Davis said that it would be difficult for the State Park Departments purchase of the park by itself and a partnership would most-likely be needed. Officials have said the project would help relieve the states financial woes.

The ranch is currently in shambles due to the auctioning of many of the rides and attractions after the pop star’s death last year. Davis is sure that if the park were back up-and-running it would attract tourists and fans around the world.

The President of Colony Capital, Thomas J. Barrack Jr. has said he hopes the estate will sell for more than $100 million. Jackson purchased the property back in 1988 for a reported $17 to $30 million.

It is not clear yet if the Jackson family will have any involvement in the project and Colony Capital has not made any comments about the proposal.

One of the main reasons for proceeding with this project is to celebrate the home of the American icon as Alice Huffman, key players in the idea for the proposal, has said.

“You’re preserving history and you’re making it available to the public. There are other values to that are assigned more than the money,” Huffman told The Boston Herald. “It’s a piece of California history and world history that ought to be preserved.”

*Photo from shazari via Flickr

2 Comments

  1. DBL

    July 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I agree that this would be a preservation of world history, the home of an American icon who tried to bring the world closer together through his music. i would visit!

  2. Patricia

    August 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I was just there at the Neverland gates visiting from Toronto and it was just beautiful and felt amazing being there. I could not even imagine how it would be to actually be able to be inside the grounds. Michael did so much for humanity that it would only fitting to have somewhere to go to be able to honor his memory.

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