GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — The California-based company that owns Fantasy Island says it’s looking into a possible sale, after the amusement park suddenly shut down last week.
“Had a lot of interest, had a lot of people kicking the tires and then gave up on the idea,” said Grand Island supervisor John Whitney.
But some people aren’t giving up on keeping Fantasy Island around and that includes Grand Island supervisor John Whitney.
He says the general manager of Fantasy Island told him Monday that the longtime amusement park is for sale after it suddenly closed last week.
Trucks have already been seen on the property.
“He said that they creditors are calling the shots right now, it’s a very complex situation so that’s why the rides are for sale. They’re owned by one creditor. And the land underneath the park is another mortgage lender. So there’s a lot of parties involved. And that’s about as much as he disclosed to me,” said Whitney.
Whitney says Apex is in the hole for a lot of money when it comes to Fantasy Island, but he says he hasn’t been told how much.
He describes it as being upside down in loans.
“Meaning that the value of the rides is less than the amount that is owed on the properties, the various types of properties,” said Whitney.
Fantasy Island released a statement Tuesday saying in part, “despite significant effort and a great deal of investment” and that the park’s financial performance hasn’t improved.
It goes on to say the park’s owner, Apex, has been discussing with potential buyers for over a year.
Whitney says he’s also received interest from buyers recently who want to keep it as amusement park, but he says it’ll be a harder sell – if there aren’t any rides.
“If you sell the main features off of this park it’s going to be very difficult to keep it alive as an amusement park and then the land would be sold for repurposing,” said Whitney.
“Many, many people have so many memories there. We don’t want to see it go away,” said Whitney.
Whitney tells News 4 he’s working with state lawmakers to see what if anything can be done to save the park.
So far more than 400 complaints have been filed with the State Attorney General’s Office. Apex has until next week to respond on if they will issue refunds for season pass holders.