- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - A historic Oahu home is being opened up to generate revenue for state parks, Hawaii officials said.

The Nutridge Estate was built in 1922 for Ernest Shelton Van Tassel, who leased out 22 acres of land for Hawaii’s macadamia nut industry.

Over the years, the estate attracted celebrities including Frank Sinatra and Clark Gable, KITV (http://is.gd/uuG6Eg) reported. The mountaintop property features picturesque views of Honolulu.

The home is hidden among the trees and foliage of Puu Ualakaa State Park.

“I consider this one of the best-kept secrets in the state,” state parks deputy director Curt Cottrell said.

The estate has been restored and maintained over the past few decades. Now the piece of history represents additional revenue for the state, which has teamed up with a private partner for the venture.

“The only way for the state park’s system to survive is to figure out ways to make our own money - the way other state parks and national parks do,” Cottrell said.

Plans for the Nutridge Estate include renting it out for functions such as weddings and company retreats and making it available to community groups.

There’s also a possibility of turning it into a destination for “natural” dining, if additional herbs and vegetables are added to the grounds. The property already contains other growing foods, including citrus and macadamia trees.

The state will make at least $4,700 a month- or almost $60,000 a year- in lease rent from the operator Discover Hawaii Tours.

The state still has to balance increased revenue with potential problems such as traffic for surrounding neighbors and the rest of the state park.

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Information from: KITV-TV, http://www.kitv.com/index.html

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

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