It would be a classic twist of fate.
Michael Jackson didn’t attain the Las Vegas comeback he was hoping for, but, in death, he could be the catalyst for the city’s economic comeback.
"Done right we can exceed what a Disneyland can do," said local dealmaker Jack Wishna, who is convinced the attraction "absolutely could lift us out of this (deep recession)."
Which raises the question: Are Las Vegas movers and shakers lining up to pitch Jackson’s estate on the benefits of putting a Jackson attraction in the entertainment capital of the world?
Wishna would be surprised if they aren’t.
"I can only imagine how many propositions they have on their desk," he said.
"Las Vegas is looking for a new attraction. Another Cirque show isn’t going to bring 10 million people to town," said Wishna, who worked with Jackson for six months on Las Vegas comeback plans two years before the entertainer declined going forward.
Wishna, who arranged Jackson’s move to Las Vegas after 18 months in self-exile, is among those planning to meet with Jackson’s estate about his ideas, which range from establishing a Graceland-like area, a Cirque du Soleil-like theatrical attraction and a museum.
"It would single-handedly lift this town into prosperity," said Wishna, whose presentation to Jackson’s estate will include a vision for the 66 acres of land he owns.
"This is going to be something we’ve never seen before," he said. Jackson’s estate will find ways to generate "billions and billions."
Clearly, said Wishna, "the world was hungry for it and that was demonstrated with the (50) sellouts of London’s ’02 concerts. This is one of biggest brands the world’s ever seen. His fan base is one of the largest in the world."
"It’s going to come down to what is the best home for a Michael Jackson attraction, and my bet is Vegas," he said.
The decision, he said, will be up to Katherine Jackson, who will receive 40 percent of what her son’s estate earns. Forty percent would be split by his three children and 20 percent to children’s charities.
THE NEXT PARIS
She won’t be 21 for another 10 years, but another young beauty named Paris was creating a stir on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Paris Jackson, Michael’s 11-year-old daughter, was seen dancing at the Palms pool during a rain show.
Later Sunday, she showed up at Amp salon at the Palms to get her hair styled. She was with her aunt (Jackie Jackson‘s wife) and another woman, who was identified as the tutor of Michael Jackson’s three children.
She sat down one chair away from KVBC-TV, Channel 13, entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs, who came into the salon for highlights and a manicure and came away with a scoop.
Jacobs sent a flurry of postings to her Twitter site before approaching Paris, whom Jacobs had met at Janet Jackson‘s after-party following Michael’s funeral July 7.
"Paris says she chose the green fingernail polish cause it matches the Palms limos!" tweeted Jacobs, who overheard Paris say she had visited the amusement attraction at Circus Circus, where her father often took the kids.
Jacobs also overheard security instruct Paris’ stylist to sweep up all of the youngster’s black locks and put them in a plastic bag.
"Can you imagine the value of Paris’ hair," Jacobs said in an e-mail to Vegas Confidential. "DNA … the truth finally."
Paris indicated that it was the first haircut of her life, Jacobs said.
"Sopranos" star Steve Schirripa, shooting episodes of NBC’s "Face the Ace" at South Point over the weekend and dining Friday at Michael’s with "Tonight Show" producer Joe Medeiros and John Miller, senior vice president of NBC Sports. … Kathy Joosten, who plays Karen McCluskey on "Desperate Housewives," with her family at Terry Fator‘s show (The Mirage) on Saturday night. Following his show, Fator headed over to Hard Rock Hotel for the Aid for AIDS of Nevada event. … Steven Spielberg, with his wife, Kate Capshaw, and son Theo at BOA Steakhouse (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Friday night with a large group. A Marilyn Monroe impersonator sang "Happy Birthday" to Theo, who was celebrating his 21st birthday.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Is this the fire David Letterman rally?" — From David Letterman’s "Top Ten Things Overheard Outside Afghanistan Polling Stations."
Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.