Paradise: Here’s your sign

PARADISE — One of the most indelible memories of Nov.8, 2018, Camp Fire were pictures of the Welcome to Paradise sign that burned on the Skyway that morning.

It was that moment, captured by a You Tube video and pictures that inspired former Paradise resident Brett Mattyoies to want to rebuild that structure.

“I couldn’t go to sleep that night,” he said. “That sign welcomed me back home every time I returned.”

Matties used to visit his parents every Thanksgiving and he knew he was back as rounded that corner on Skyway as they came into town.

In  2019, Matteis and the Paradise Welcome Sign Rebuild Committee Volunteers that included, Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Monica Nolan; owner, builder and realtor Chenoa Rivera; Reliance Propane owner Scott Steele; Results Imagery CEO Kyle Nelson; Hupp Signs director and property owner Joe Hupp; Rebuild Paradise Foundation Executive Director Charles Brooks and Matteis.

He also noted that real estate agent and former town councilor Mike Zuccolillo played a role in the project as well.

They began discussing the rebuild and at the outset, Matteis thought they would rebuild the old sign. But there was some discussion about even rebuilding the sign given the fire concern.

From there he said it became clear that they should include public input since the sign is the resident’s sign that was put into place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The sign was built Brian Firth Landscape Architect, Inc, from Chico, and Matteis said it received the majority of the public’s vote by a margin of 17 percent.

In early 2020, Matteis said that they chose the sign but the process to get from there to the erection of the sign was about 20 months, that was built with more than 11,000 pounds of Corten steel that also holds the original halo and will soon display a Paradise slogan which will include repurposed timber from the fire.

The entire sign should be completed by mid-January.

The sign was put up by Hupp Signs from Chico and Martin’s Crane from Oroville. Matties noted that Steele was able to get the Paradise Rotary club to take ownership of the sign.

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