Coney Island’s Astroland vows to close unless new lease signed
The Astroland amusement park, after two years of teetering on extinction, vowed to close its rides for good next week unless a new lease is signed.
In a pointed two-page letter obtained by the Daily News, Astroland lawyer Sid Davidoff said the gates at the vintage Coney Island attraction will forever swing shut at 1 p.m. Thursday – the end of its 47th summer on the Boardwalk.
Thor Equities, the owner of the Astroland property, “Has left Astroland no choice but to notify its employees that the amusement park will be closing permanently at the end of the season,” Davidoff wrote.
Astroland has 75 year-round employees and 275 seasonal workers.
Thor spokesman Stefan Friedman blasted Astroland owner Carol Albert for saying she’ll close up months before her lease expires in January. A one-year extension last year was reached in late October.
“We are extremely disappointed that Carol Albert has decided to give up on the future of Coney Island,” Friedman said.
Albert, whose family opened the park during the Kennedy administration, wants a two-year lease. Lynn Kelly, president of the Coney Island Development Corp., echoed her call.
“It would be an absolute shame if Astroland’s lease is not renewed for another season,” Kelly said.
A longer lease would eliminate the annual death watch on the Boardwalk attraction, which nearly went dark after last year’s Labor Day.
BY LARRY McSHANE