Paradise Inn tree could be yours via auction
A neon palm tree that was showcased in the heart of Spenard for over 50 years is up for auction, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
The 22-foot palm tree that once belonged to Paradise Inn is being sold through an online auction by the U.S. Marshals. The starting price is $4,500 and the auction runs through July 10.
The palm tree has been at the center of a dispute between local businesswoman Bernadette Wilson and the federal government.
She says she spent tens of thousands of dollars to remove, store and fight for the sign. However, the tree was removed from her with the marshal's consent and placed in storage. A few weeks after the fact, Wilson got a phone call she describes as "threatening" from the U.S. Attorney's Office saying there had been a mistake and she needed to return the tree. The issue wound up in court and a federal judge ruled against Wilson.
"The Paradise Inn was forfeited to the federal government as part of a criminal drug case against Suk Joon Lee and Kyong Taek Song," according to a release from Deputy U.S. Marshal Rochelle Liedike. "The neon palm tree was removed from the property and is being sold separately from the real property, which will be offered by sale by the U.S. Marshals in the future."
Wilson calls the palm tree a piece of Alaskan history that should be preserved. She said she would love to see the iconic sign displayed in Anchorage, possibly at the Anchorage Museum or by the Koots windmill in Spenard.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: