Michael Jackson’s 65-foot-tall Ferris wheel from Neverland Ranch now travels the Midwest drawing in mourners, according to Associated Press.
“They come to take pictures, a couple tears and everybody likes to ride it,” Theresa Noerper, co-owner of Archway Amusements Corp tells the AP.
Archway Amusements bought the Ferris wheel last year from a liquidation sale at Neverland Ranch simply because they needed another one. When Michael died June 25 local police feared the ride would attract too many fans.
“We ourselves really didn’t advertise it,” said Noerper. “When he died, it kind of blew up. There’s no keeping secrets then.”
Michael reportedly paid $215,000 for the Ferris wheel in 1990. In 2003 Michael was accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at the ranch. He was acquitted two years later but the scandal caused the ranch to be neglected and was nearly sold at public auction as a result.
The wheel has no visual reference to Michael except that the seats were painted the color of a specific pinot noir red, requested by Michael. Archway Amusements does not advertise the wheel’s connection to Jackson, but fans have spread the word.
“They’re not big moneymakers anymore, because they’re slow and you have to load them,” Noerper said of Ferris wheels. “It’s more of a nostalgia piece than anything.”
This week the wheel will be moving to the Northeast Arkansas District Fair in Jonesboro and for $4.50 fans can relive their childhood just as Michael had always tried to do.