Fantasy Island in Grand Island announces it is closed

Fantasy Island confirms closure on Wednesday

Mike Baggerman
February 19, 2020 - 12:44 pm
Fantasy Island in Grand Island. February 19, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Fantasy Island in Grand Island. February 19, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WBEN) - Fantasy Island has confirmed on its website that it is permanently closed.

The amusement park in Grand Island has been a staple for families in the region since 1961. It featured rides such as the Silver Comet and entertainment such as western shootout re-enactments at the Golden Nugget.

It was purchased by the California-based Apex Parks in 2016 from Martin DiPietro, who previously incorporated his name in the park. Apex Parks, according to a report from the American Coasters Enthusiasts, is selling equipment for use at its other parks.

There is no longer any mention of Fantasy Island on the Apex Parks website.

The theme park’s director of marketing, Doug Mandell, released a statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“Despite significant effort and a great deal of investment in infrastructure, rides and new themed areas, we have not seen an improvement in operating results,” Mandell said. “As such, we made the difficult decision to cease operations. This was not a decision entered into lightly. Team members are being assisted by their supervisors and the company is working to minimize impact to those affected. Guests may visit www.fantasyislandny.com for answers to commonly asked questions.”

Elected officials in Grand Island are vowing to make the Fantasy Island site a priority now that it is closed.

"We will definitely reach out and see if we can encourage them to hopefully seek a buyer," Councilman Mike Madigan said prior to the closure announcement. "I'm sure that's probably one of the things they've considered, but I can only speculate on that. If there's anything we can do to...get some other buyer to maybe take over, that would be encouraged if possible."

Fantasy Island employs close to 100 people. One person who told WBEN he works at the park said that the Silver Comet was already in the process of being taken down and that potential buyers were already at the site on Wednesday.

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