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Hoffman's Playland owners talk possible sale

NEWTONVILLE -- Say it ain't so!  An article surfaced yesterday saying the owners of the iconic Hoffman's Playland are thinking about selling.  That sparked a Facebook frenzy.  A "Save Hoffman's Playland" page has gained more than 12,000 fans in less than 24 hours.  Owners say while the response is heartwarming, it may not be enough to change their minds.

In a world of strip malls and video games, most of us don't want anything we knew when we were younger to change.

"It's the only place in the area where you can take kids this age where they can pretty much ride everything," said Kris Dunham.  But little Siena, Dunham's daughter, may only have one more run on her mom's favorite ride, the Caterpillar, at Hoffman's Playland.

"We started thinking about retiring several years ago," owner David Hoffman said.  "It's very labor-intensive, and we realized we can't do it forever."

Hoffman says business is still good.  "Memorial Day Monday was a record-breaker for the park and last Sunday was also a huge day.  The appeal still seems to be as strong as it was thirty, forty years ago."

If you've been here a while, chances are a relative older than you has been here already.

Speaking about her daughter, Dunham said, "it's great to watch her and think back to when i was that age and see the same kind of fun that she's having that I used to have."

"It's been fun it's something you look forward to each summer," said Jim Eaton.  "It's close, it's convenient, it's easy to get to, and you can't beat the prices either."

One ticket $1.75, but you can walk in off Loudon Road for free.  Colonie has worked to develop the stretch and doesn't want Hoffman's to silence the sound of fun.

"Anything other than that we would want it to compliment what's there and fit in that area," said town supervisor Paula Mahan.

Mr. Hoffman says he has no offers, no serious negotiations.  "We thought we'd take a pro-active stance and start exploring opportunities that may be out there so we can retire and do some of the things we've always wanted to do."

Hoffman's uncle sold adjacent land for $5 million dollars several years ago where the Village at New Loudon is currently under construction.
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