Travel to See the Hollywood Sign in California

HOLLYWOOD. The famous "Hollywood" sign is recognized the world over and is about as iconic as you can get. You probably can't count the number of movies and television shows where you've seen the sign show up in a Hollywood Hills background. Imagine seeing it in person! Plan a southern California timeshare vacation, and you can.

Wooden 50-ft high letters were placed on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles in 1923 as a simple advertisement that read "Hollywoodland" announcing a new housing development in the hills. It was not intended to be permanent, but was left up when the Hollywood movie industry was on the rise, and the sign soon became an internationally recognized symbol.

Over the years the sign deteriorated badly, with the "LAND" crumbling away completely, until 1978 when shock-rocker Alice Cooper spearheaded a public campaign to restore the sign. Donations funded a project that replaced the dilapidated wooden letters with 45-ft high letters made of steel.

The land surrounding the sign has been privately owned by developers who have made plans to exploit the area by building luxury mansions along the ridgeline. Consequently, an organization, The Trust for Public Land, was created with the intension of raising the $12.5M to buy and protect the 138 acres adjacent to the sign.

In April, 2010, the final $900,000 needed to reach that goal was donated by Hugh Heffner, allowing the group to purchase the surrounding hillside and "safeguard the future of the monument from developers." But the controversy over the use of the land and the sign is not over yet.

Enter Christian Bay-Jorgensen, a Danish architect, who suggests turning the sign into a hotel. His plans include creating luxurious accommodations in each of the letters, as well as offering a spa, a theater, and a performing center where the Oscars and other award ceremonies could be held.

You have to admit that the panoramic view of Los Angeles from atop the "H" would be stunning, especially as the city is laid out like a sparkling carpet of lights at night. However, for now you can enjoy all that glamorous Hollywood has to offer by renting a budget timeshare in a number of cities in Southern California, and visiting "Hollywoodland" - and seeing the Hollywood sign, like an old friend, in person.

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