Paradise palm tree to stand again

The paradise palm has been on the corner of Chugach Way and Spenard Road for over two years, but the Spenard Community Council announced new plans for the tree at their February meeting.
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The paradise palm has been on the corner of Chugach Way and Spenard Road for over two years, but the Spenard Community Council announced new plans for the tree at their February meeting.

After laying on its side for two years on the corner of Chugach Way and Spenard Road, the neon palm tree that once stood at the Paradise Inn may be returning home.

Cindy Berger, who owns the land where the Paradise Inn once stood, has agreed to take on the renovation, remodeling and movement of the neon palm tree, Spenard Community Council President Lindsey Hajduk, announced at the Feb. 3 Spenard Community Council meeting.

The effort to move the palm tree to a permanent area in Spenard was coordinated by Jay Stange, former Spenard Community Council president. Stange has been in touch with the 58 GoFundMe fundraiser donors (one of which was The Spenardian, for $50), who donated to the palm tree’s cause in 2018.

In July 2018, The Spenardian reported on the sale of the 22-foot palm tree from Gaston and Sheehan to Stange. The sale came after a legal battle between a local waste removal business and the U.S. Marshals, who removed the tree after a federal drug bust of the Paradise Inn. 

In her announcement, Hajduk said work to move the project will continue in the next few months, with hopes of raising the palm tree by summer or early fall. She said there would probably also be a palm-raising party. 

“[Cindy] is really committed to continuing to build our quirky artful community,” Hajduk said. “That's really intentional, so we really appreciate her stepping up on that.”

The palm tree sat at the site of the Paradise Inn, which was built in 1962 as the South Seas Hotel and Lounge. The hotel and palm tree were sisters to the South Seas Bar and Lounge, which sat on Fourth Avenue and G Street in the 1940s. A smaller, curvier neon palm tree lived there in the same California tiki-style, which sat on top of the bar’s sign.

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