Spenard inn's neon palm tree turned over to feds
A neon palm tree that's been at the center of a dispute between a local businesswoman and the federal government changed hands on Friday.
Bernadette Wilson obeyed a judge's order to give back the sign, which once adorned Spenard's storied Paradise Inn for decades.
Wilson kept the location of the tree a secret until Friday morning when it turned up on the back of a trailer in South Anchorage. Workers hired by the U.S. Marshals Service office in Anchorage brought their own truck and hauled it away.
Wilson has given up the giant neon sign for now, but she may not have given up the fight. She has until Tuesday to decide if she wants to appeal the judge's ruling. She'd also like to get back some of the tens of thousands of dollars she said she's spent, removing, storing and fighting for the sign.
"If the federal government is going to tell you to do something and, in turn, tell you to keep it and you incur those costs, it's not right to force those costs on a small business owner and leave them with nothing to show for it," Wilson said.
Wilson said she would love to see the iconic sign displayed in Anchorage, possibly at the Anchorage Museum or by the Koots windmill in Spenard.
The federal government has indicated it plans to auction the sign and the Paradise Inn property, where the palm tree stood for more than 50 years. U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder's office and marshals haven't released any details so far of when the auction will be held.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.