"This is a wonderful place for people to hike. Do yoga. Bring their dogs," she says but Mello doesn't like the "idea" being floated by Ryan Woods and Jeff Pruitt. It's a very controversial notion the two sports agents are proposing. They want to build a zip line that runs from the top just south of Mulholland Driver to just north of the Fuller Gate.
Hikers, like Ashley Wiggins, think "It would be absolutely amazing. It'll be so fun."
Another hiker, Aarun Kapoor, says, "Every time I'm on top I wish I could take a zip line down. It's a quicker way to get home. I can see my house from the top." He chuckles. Not laughing are others like Almitra Wiggins who says "A zip line will bring screaming and yelling and it's not probably going to be free so, now you're turning it into an amusement park." Chris Hellstrom, who lives nearby says, "Living in the area parking here is terrible so, just inviting more people here I'd imagine that wouldn't make it any better."
Woods and Pruitt say they can fix that. Riding the zip line would cost $50-bucks which would include parking and a free shuttle ride from Hollywood and Highland. Woods says hikers could use the shuttle for free too.
Woods says, "What we'd like to do is drag some cars away from here for residents who can't park in front of their own homes. And, we'd also like to infuse some funding into the park."
Make no mistake. What these two are proposing is a big and expensive project. They would make money, but also put money back into the park and other area parks.
The two are looking at an investment that could range from 3 to 4-million-dollars for building the zip line as well as the retail space needed inside of Hollywood and Highland; a cost they say they'd be eating.
To Pruitt and Woods everybody wins. But, they've got a sizeable political process ahead according to Anastasia Mann. She's President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council. The two will float their idea before the council Wednesday night. Says Mann, "They're going to have to get support from the community including the neighborhood council board. Hollywood Hills West, which I run and they're going to have to get the support of Friends of Runyon Canyon which is an organization to protect Runyon Canyon."
That group is opposed to the project even though Woods and Pruitt offered them a $750,000 donation to their organization, that could be used to help the park. The group refused their money. But, Woods and Pruitt aren't backing down, but rather, preparing for the lengthy political process that could turn their "idea" into a reality.
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