Los Olivos Travel Guide
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Neverland Ranch has been in a state of turmoil long before Michael Jacksonís death, but now it looks like it might be coming back for a finale.
State Assemblyman Mike Davis thinks that the California Department of Parks and Recreation should take over the estate and open it as a state park. It sounds like a great idea, but California probably doesnít have the cash to buy a 2,500-acre mega mansion right now. Maybe the stateís governor can chip in a few bucks before he leaves office.
If any celebrityís home seems ripe to be turned into a post-mortem tourist attraction, itís Michael Jacksonís Neverland Ranch. With the roller coasters, chimpanzees, and all the rest of the circus-y stuff, Neverland has drawn gawking onlookers for years, even though the notoriously reclusive MJ never let many past the gates.
The future of the 2,500-acre property has actually been in question since the financially ailing Jackson parted with it last fall. The owners, real estate firm Capital Colony, have stayed mum on what they plan to do with the estate, but have fueled speculation that it will become some kind of tourist trap by hosting 150 prominent residents for dinners at the ranch and handing out caps that say "Neverland 2009."
Michael Jackson has finally given up his Neverland Ranch, sending Jay Leno's writers into a panic and leaving us to wonder what's next for the 2,500-acre property in Santa Barbara's wine country.
While Jackson will technically still own a share of the property, it's now controlled by Colony Capital, a real estate firm that owns the Las Vegas Hilton and is developing Meadowlands Xanadu in New Jersey. They'll need to put some work in on Neverland, where carnival-style rides, a Ferris wheel and even a roller coaster have fallen into disrepair.
But will the destination remain kid-friendly? Colony is staying mum on the future of the Los Olivos sanctuary, though we could see it turned into a winery or a destination spa or basically anything except a Michael Jackson museum.
Drop your ideas for the future of Neverland in the comments.