GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB)–Nearly five months after Fantasy Island suddenly closed, there is new hope that it could come back as an amusement park.
A group of investors could be weeks away from a deal that would see the park reopen next May.
The investor group is called Empire Adventures and what they may lack in deep pockets, they make up for in passion and determination to save the 60-year-old park.
“We had to find a way to come forward, to bring it back no matter what would happen and what we had to do,” CEO Bill Baldwin said.
Baldwin, who worked at Fantasy Island for 30 years, mostly performing in the wild west shows, is now heading up a group of investors looking to reopen it next May under a 15-year lease with new ownership.
“We got several investors we’re looking at next week and we’re gonna talk to them and get some basic workings for some money into here. We got three banks we’re talking to. We’re pretty close. We’re within a week, possibly two at the max. I’m looking to be possibly having the papers signed,” Baldwin added.
Of the 34 original rides, only six are left, including the Silver Comet and the train, but one of the partners is a Connecticut based amusement park company that can supply at least 14 rides. On the Empire Adventures website is a GoFundMe page and a call for possible ride sponsorships.
Assemblyman Angelo Morinello says, “I firmly believe that once they show what they have, that they’ve been able to start the process, then they then can look at what is available from the state as far as assistance for the project.”