LATHAM, N.Y. – A group has launched a campaign in hopes of having the Town of Colonie acquire the playland's iconic carousel after the news that Hoffman's Playland will officially close its doors after 60 years.
The group was started by Colonie resident Mike Moss who says he's been visiting Hoffman's since the 1960s. He says he created the group overnight and is floored just how many people have responded to his Facebook page.
Tiffany Catalafamo says she grew up spending summers at Hoffman's Playland, a tradition she has since passed on to her children. She says the carousel in particular has always been a big hit.
“Every time we come in, it’s the first place we go; they all know first stop is the carousel,” said Catalafamo.
When Catalafamo first heard that a local group hopes to get the Town of Colonie to purchase or be given the iconic ride, she thought it was a great idea.
“It would make us more competitive with Saratoga and the other areas that already have the carousels and we definitely need more of a community place to go to here,” she said.
Moss says he got the idea to create the page Tuesday night and is happy to see more than 80 likes shortly after its launch. He said that even Hoffman's employees are getting behind the concept.
“I would love to see it stick around, of course it is kind of a business decision as well, but I would love to see the town step in,” said Tim Housler, who works at Hoffman’s.
As Saratoga Springs has their carousel in Congress Park, most Colonie residents say the Crossings at Colonie would be a great new home for the iconic carousel.
Unfortunately, the Colonie Town Supervisor says it isn't that easy.
“I don’t think people understand what the initial investment would be,” said Supervisor Paula Mahan.
Between costs to move the structure, employees to run it and liability insurance, Mahan said that acquiring the ride is unlikely. However, she does say that this doesn’t mean there aren’t other options.
“Whoever comes up with the idea of ‘I have the land,’ you know, ‘I’d like to located it there,’ the town would do everything we could to support that.
Whether donated or purchased by the town or a third party, Catalafamo and her family just aren’t ready for the ride to end.
"It’s a family memory we have here and we were a little upset,” she said.
The owners of Hoffman’s Playland say if they do not get a development offer by August 1, then they plan on auctioning off all 18 of the rides at the park.