Neverland Ranch, the theme-park home of Michael Jackson until 2008, may become California’s newest attraction. An Assemblyman in California is looking to propose that the state buy the property, which is already set up somewhat like a theme park, and convert it into a West-Coast Graceland. Check out the full story, with photos and video below!
Mike Davis, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media is heading up the effort within the state. But his mission will not be easy; the state budget is the tightest in the country, and Governor Schwarzenegger already suggested closing 220 of the state’s 279 parks in search of budget room.
“Given that we have an economic shortfall … I suspect it would be difficult for the State Parks Department to purchase the property alone,” Davis said. “I am committed to finding out all the details possible to make this a good proposal.”
In its prime, Neverland Ranch hosted a slew of theme-park rides and had an ample zoo situated in the center of the 2,500 acre estate. The rides were taken down after the singer’s untimely demise in 2009, but could easily be reconstructed if California moves forward with the plan. But the rides are just a formality, the real attraction of the park would be for fans of Michael and his music according to Davis.
“[Jackson] was one of the world’s preeminent entertainers, and California is fortunate to have such a site in its jurisdiction,” he said. “It will absolutely be a destination for many who admire music and the performing arts.”
Davis says his plans are just an idea at the moment, but if he finds private funding he plans to submit the proposal to the California legislature within the year. What do you think of the idea of a Neverland Ranch State Park? Would the costs outweigh the benefit for the strapped state? Let me know in the comment section!
For more on the story, check out the photos and video below!
Photos: www.wenn.com/Daniel Deme, Danny Clifford/Hottwire.net, Luke Mills