Owner: Astroland Amusement Park closing for good

Posted by Nick Dutton -

NEW YORK (CBS) - As the gates to Coney Island's Astroland opened Sunday, hundreds couldn't wait to get inside to enjoy the rides for one last time before the historic amusement park closed for good.

"I grew up here," said Thomas Forest. "I just wanted [my daughter] to experience it before it's gone."

The closure broke many little hearts, including 8-year-old Hampton Gaddy's. He displayed his feelings on his shirt "because I wanted people to know that I am sad they're closing it."

Astroland couldn't be saved said owner Carol Albert, whose father-in-law unveiled the park 46-years ago. She claims developer Thor Equities pushed her out.

"I did go to Thor in June and said what are the chances of getting a lease and I need to know by Labor Day and they could not give me an answer," Albert said.

A spokesperson for the developer claims it was Albert who walked away.

"I have been here 15 years and a lot of people are going to lose their jobs," Astroland employee John Ward said.

"I am upset because they're tearing down my childhood," added Terry Rosenzweig. "My legacy, everything that I can remember I have been coming here every weekend since I was a child."

The Cyclone and Wonder Wheel will not be affected, and will remain open. Albert said it will take her six months to dismantle the rides and that she's already getting offers to move her park to the Middle East.

Thor Equities is searching for an operator to build a fun park with new rides, games, shopping and other activities.

Source: CBS News, WCBS-TV