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Hollywood Sign Land Could Have Been Top Secret Zip-Line Park

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The New Yorker has turned its wary eyes to the left coast, investigating the matter of the Cahuenga Peak land buy, cinched last week by Hugh Hefner. They report that with the land near the Hollywood Sign becoming part of Griffith Park, it'll get new access roads and trails, and a Tiffany Overlook, in gratitude for the million the jeweler pledged early in the Trust for Public Land's fundraising. The president of the TPL tells the magazine, "They do these grants for places they think are important and romantic—places where people can propose to each other."

But what might have befallen the peak had it not sold to the Trust for Public Land? Fox River Financial Resources, the group of Chicagoans who bought the peak for about $1.7 million in 2002, are in the business of "esoteric investments," like owning "the only private collection" of an endangered cave beetle (it's not clear what the return on that might be). When it first put the Cahuenga Peak land on the market in 2008, asking $22 million, "One prospective buyer hoped to build a zip-line park; another represented a secret club whose members wanted to erect a clubhouse on the peak." The New Yorker says there were "no serious offers," but that secret club sounds pretty serious to us. [Sign via Scott Beale/Laughing Squid]
· HEF’S PEAK [New Yorker]