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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Coney Island Astroland Sold (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Stephon
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Maryland, USA
911 Posts

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

The vintage Astroland Amusement Park, one of the anchors of Coney Island since its 1962 opening, was purchased Tuesday by a developer intent on restoring the Brooklyn beachfront as a $1.5 billion year-round resort.

The Albert family, owners of the well-known park, will close the 3.1-acre attraction at the end of the 2007 summer season under the deal reached with Thor Equities. The Alberts will continue to operate the landmark Cyclone roller-coaster, which turns 80 next year, under an existing agreement with the city.

The decision to sell was "very difficult and made only after months of extensive discussion," said Carol Hill Albert, co-owner of Astroland with husband Jerome. The park was launched by her late father-in-law, Dewey Albert.

In the end, the cost of converting Astroland to a year-round operation was too steep. The family had turned down larger bids last year "in the hope of finding an alternative that would enable us to keep our current location," Albert said — but it didn't pan out.

Thor Equities plans a $1.5 billion, year-round facility in Coney Island. Although no price was given for the Astroland purchase, Thor had already spent $100 million snapping up properties along the venerable boardwalk.

Thor's plans include a mix of amusements and attractions, including a new roller coaster and a new hotel to accommodate the anticipated arrival of new tourists.

The site of the amusement park is renowned for another reason. Local legend has it that restaurateur Charles Feltman invented the hot dog there in 1874.

The Alberts, although they sold their property to Thor, retained ownership of attractions like the water flume and the Astrotower in hopes of adding some new rides and relocating to another section of the neighborhood.

The amusement park employs about 300 workers every summer, and Albert was hopeful that city and Brooklyn officials could help with relocation costs.

"The Albert family is proud to have provided so many wonderful memories for so many generations and to have been such an important part of New York's world famous Coney Island," Albert said.

Originally published on November 28, 2006
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Doug Higley
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V.I.P.
Here and There
7168 Posts

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They are nice folks. I wish them well!!! And the old rides too.
When I was looking for research for my book Scary Dark Rides they were among the VERY Few who provided what ever I needed in photos etc without any BS.
Good people.
Higley's Doug's Museum
Addy
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Loyal user
NY
243 Posts

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There's been so much talk about the 'new' Coney over the last few weeks. As someone who grew up in Coney, it really depresses me. There are of course 2 schools of thought here. Those that feel the change is good and those who are opposed to the new plan. Articles are running almost daily about the new plans for the area. Essentially, from what I'm reading, they want to remake Coney like Times Square is now, which is ok, but at the same time, they are buying out the old amusements, go carts, batting ranges and historic buildings, like Henderson's. There's so much history in the area, it should be kept and preserved, not gentrified.
The good thing is that as per another article, the city is helping Coney Island USA, home of the Sideshow and Mermaid Parade purchase another building, as the one that they've been in is for sale.
BTW, anyone catch Miami Ink last night? Dick and the cast of the Sideshow were getting inked.
T-RAY
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Inner circle
1539 Posts

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I would love to see Coney Island shine like it did back in the days.
handa
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, PA
1346 Posts

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I recorded Miami Ink. Unfortunately, I screwed it up and have to wait for it to come around again in the rotation to record it again. I heard that it was both a decent representation of the characters we all know and love as well as fun to watch.

Chris
Todd Robbins
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New York
2903 Posts

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The change is going to come to Coney Island whether or not people like it, so we are going to make the best of it and try to make the changes work for us. Stay tuned.

Coney Island Todd
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