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Should California Shell Out $100 Million For Neverland Ranch?

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On the one hand, this kind of makes sense. On the other hand, WHAT? Although a Wall Street Journal article last month said "logistical issues" would probably keep Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch from ever becoming a public attraction, someone up in Sacramento is working on a resolution that would instruct parks officials to start looking into turning the Santa Barbara County property into a state park, reports the Sacramento Bee. The NAACP is the main driver, but Los Angeles Assemblyman Mike Davis, chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, says he's on board. The state would have to acquire the 2,600 acres from Colony Capitol, whose president "told Bloomberg News last month that he hoped to sell it for more than $100 million." Only one problem! A state parks rep tells the paper "At this point in time we have no interest in acquiring the property."

As a potential comparison, the Hearst estate in San Simeon was donated to the state, pulls in 800,000 visitors a year at $24 a pop, but is only "usually close to breaking even," according to the rep. The majority of state parks were under a swinging ax for most of 2009 as a result of the state's budget problems.
· NAACP moves to make Neverland a state park [Sacramento Bee]