Astroland will open for one more go-round

CONEY ISLAND - Coney Island's Astroland amusement park will open for at least another summer, thanks to a deal reached Wednesday between the developer and owner.

Astroland will open for its final summer March 16, 2008. Owner Carol Albert says the agreement will keep 300 workers employed. The deal follows weeks of negotiations between developer Thor Equities and Albert; the terms were not made public.

Many people said they were worried the park would not reopen after its Labor Day closing. "It's like going on the Cyclone," said store owner Jimmy Prince. "When you come to the end of the ride you ask the ticket holder 'Could I have another ride, please?'"Thor Equities paid the Alberts $30 million in 2006 for the 3.1-acre stretch of boardwalk the family owns. The developer plans to turn it into a year-round tourist attraction with improved rides. Over the summer, Thor scrapped plans to include condominiums due to criticism.

Astroland opened in 1962 and has survived harsh economic times, blight and the crack epidemic.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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