Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Astroland Joins Past Coney Relics Into Memory Lane

Image courtesy of malarchie (

It seems that only a miracle or a storyline out of a Coney comic book could save Astroland for another return, but the city has not shown interest in stepping in to save the park by helping facilitate a lease agreement between the park's owner, Carol Albert and landlord Thor Equities until a permanent amusement area is created by city's redevelopment plan. But the city did not want to meddle in a private transaction.

Fears of a blighted Coney Island without Astroland next summer are intense, and some fear that Dennis Vourderis’ Wonder Wheel Park will become the next to sell.

Vourderis told this newspaper that Thor Equities and its principal Joe Sitt have routinely sought to buy him out, but that he didn’t like the idea of one person controlling all of Coney Island.

It seems the city has never placed much care about Astroland since it pressured them the park to sell as a result of the city favoring Thor Equities. Astroland had full financial backing and drawn out plans for a big year-round development plans but was "instead shunted aside", said Charles Denson, of the Coney Island History Project.

In response CIDC's president, Lynn Kelly tells the Bay News, “The city has been working with the landowners in the Coney Island amusement area to preserve the integrity and history of this storied destination since the strategic plan was first initiated in 2005,” Kelly said. “Astroland’s sale took place prior to the rezoning going through, which barred them from bringing any plans for development to fruition.”

So, unless some miracle comes out of Coney Island Astroland will surely slip into memory lane along with Steeplechase, Luna Park, Dreamland, and other Coney Island relic attractions and parks of the past.

Hope fading fast for Astroland []

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