CONEY ISLAND - The shuttering of Astroland Amusement Park has been looming for some time and come this weekend Brooklyn residents will be bidding it adieu for good.
The park, which for 46 years thrilled many with its rides, has long been a cultural icon on Coney Island's Surf Avenue. However, after a long negotiation for a new lease, owner Carol Albert decided to walk away from the park.
"I talked to them in June and I said, 'What are the chances of getting a lease?' " says Albert about her talks with developer Thor Equities.
"I made it clear that I needed an answer before Labor Day," she says. The developer chose not to meet the deadline.
Employees of the park will now be laid off in the middle of a national economic downturn. "It doesn't feel good ? I've never been on unemployment," says one worker. "I'm very sad to see that I'm going to have to do that."
Councilman Dominic Recchia (D-Brooklyn) says he has maintained close contact with Thor Equities. He says the developer has promised to have new rides in Astroland's place next summer.