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Should cash-strapped California buy Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch?

Neverland Ranch

TalkBackLAThe state is in the middle of a major fiscal crisis.

Still, there is talk of turning Michael Jackson's famous -- or infamous -- Neverland Ranch into a state park.

Assemblyman Mike Davis, a Los Angeles Democrat, said Tuesday that he is going to push for a study of the possibility when the Legislature meets again in August.

Jackson "was one of the world's preeminent entertainers, and California is fortunate to have such a site in its jurisdiction," said Davis, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media. "It will absolutely be a destination for many who admire music and the performing arts."

Set five miles down a narrow country road in Santa Barbara County, Neverland and its 25-room Tudor mansion cost Jackson about $17 million when he purchased it in 1988. (It's worth far more now).

Should the state consider buying Neverland? Tell us what you think.

Photo: Neverland Ranch. Credit: Los Angeles Times file

Comments () | Archives (54)

Why would california want to invest we do not have the money RIGHT? were is california going get the money will this bring jobs

I would go and visit...

But whether this is the best time to turn it into a park is questionable becuase of the huge debt the state is facing. Maybe when the econamy is in better shape, they should then think about it.

If some of you had not worked so hard for so long destroying the guy's life until you eventually killed him, your cash strapped state would've been collecting taxes on his revenue and benefitting from the tons of money that he pumped back into the system.

Whatever happened to "Imminent Domain"?

I would go and all they have to do is finish it and charge a fee and could recoup the money and then some. Over 10 million fans, Hello. I would go every year if it meant paying my respects to Michael. If we are no longer welcome at Forrest Lawn, where are we welcome to gather, mourn, and remember? Elvis fans have Graceland, we want Neverland!

"Infamous" that useless media we have. Neverland is adored around the world.

Arnold has taken enough from our children and our schools...
Neverland belongs to Michael's children and the percentage they do not own, should have been bought back for them by now, in addition to being one of the first priorities of the estate's and they know it. That is what THIS IS IT was for... What is going on?

might as well buy spahn ranch and turn it into a park. not only no but hell no.

This would be great. I would visit. This would be just one more reason to visit California. Two owners now, the estate and a reality company.California's part could be to widen the road and cut through all the red tape concerning animals, noise, etc. If California offered to do that then let there be 3 owners....estate, reality company, and Ca. All 3 get the revenue with California not spending that much money.

Yes the state should buy it...and then tear it down. This guy was a child molester and this place was where these events happened. It's not a place of music and art, it's a crime scene.

Great to think about Neverland status now ! Sure, I'm French and I will then return to L.A. to visit Neverland. I love California and...Michael.

Why the Jackson Estate and Colony Capital shouldn't think of it in the place of the State ?

No. Presently, the state budget should be allocated to more pressing needs. Even in the future, a rainy day fund should be created before wasting the budget on frivolous things. If there is a signficant public interest in visiting the estate, a private or non-profit corporation might be interested in obtaining and operating it.

No the state should not buy the property. The Jackson family should buy it and turn it into Graceland of the West.
Maybe they can move Michael's body from Forest Lawn to Neverland.

In a word, no. The State has been considering closing or actively closing what parks it does own.

No. 100 times NO. If the State really has that kind of money sitting around, it should use it to fund road repair, schools, and provide tax breaks.

why would california want to make a state park to remember a sick pedophile child rapist. i think not. burn this place to the ground.

As an investment property, maybe. I think people would visit, especially foreign tourists. Turn the house into a museaum, operate the rides and keep a few animals. A hefty entrance fee would be nice -- $100.00 adult. Let's do the math and see how quickly we get a return on the investment.

Sure! I'd like to try out the go-kart track!

It depends. Will we make money on it? Entrance fee of $100 for adults? How long to recover our investment and return a profit? Who gets the profits? Which County gets the money? Or is it the state? Are we better off keeping tourists in Los Angeles County and spending their dollars here? What's in it for Los Angeles?


Prince, Paris and Blanket should have it after Michael was the one who brought it

You've got to be kidding. We're laying off public safety employees and an elected official is considering a state-subsidized monument to pedophilia!? If it weren't true it might be amusing.

I think it is an excellent idea. Sure some creative financing will be needed. But I cannot see how the owners of the mansion and the state of ca can't arrive at some equitable solution to that. Considering the absolute millions made but Elvis' family via tours through his estate and the fact that Michael was/is, by all accounts, the greatest entertainer of all time, it stands to reason tourists, especially the cash flinging foriegn types, would jump at the opportunity to tour Mike's pad. Millioms are made annually in Hollywood just driving by celebs' home compared to a tou through Neverland. This is a no brainer. CA has a money maker sitting in it's backyard they should take advantage of it.

Let it rot, or have his family take over the place. It's not our responsibility as taxpayers, even if the state wasn't bankrupt. Additionally, I can't imagine why anyone would want to turn THAT place into a park.

No, no, no, & no! A total waste of money at a time when Calif. doesn't have enough money to educate the kids.

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