LATHAM, N.Y. – The owners of Hoffman’s Playland say the amusement park will officially close for good at the end of the 2014 season.
The owners, David and Ruth Hoffman, originally said in summer 2013 that they planned to retire. Shortly after, there was an outpouring of support from the community to keep the playland open.
Now, the couple has officially decided to retire. They say that if they do not receive the right offer from a prospective buyer by August 1, then the 18 amusement park rides would be sold by Norton Auctioneers.
Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan says she understands the Hoffman's wish to retire, but it's still tough knowing the park could be closing.
"I think everyone understands the fact that things can't go on forever and without them there, it can't operate. So it's a private business and we've just enjoyed so many years of the Hoffman's Playland,” said Mahan.
Glenn Kewley has been the General Manager at Hoffman's for the last 20 years. While he's enjoyed his time at the amusement park, he says as Dave and Ruth's close friend, he too sees why they are making this decision.
"I was really happy for them to take time and enjoy each other’s company when everybody's happy and healthy and can do so. And I'm not sure what the deal is going on with the property and I may continue working with them but either way, it's been a great ride and we've had a lot of fun,” said Kewley.
On the other hand, Molly Ferioli of Lenox, Massachusetts went to the park with her two kids for the first time on Tuesday afternoon. Ferioli thinks it’s great Hoffman's Playland is only an hour away from her home, but knows her young ones will be missing out after the summer.
"I was thinking about the people that live around this area, how nice it must be just to come even if they just ride a couple of rides because there is no admission fee which is fantastic. And just to take them for a quick afternoon, when there's nothing else to do, I mean it's something this area will really miss,” said Ferioli.
For many, the closing is a sad announcement considering Hoffman's Playland has been a staple in the Capital Region since the 1950's.
The 2014 season ends on September 14.
The Hoffman’s will submit a plan to the town of Colonie to redevelop their land for retail and residential buildings.