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Historic park to shutter Sunday

The owner of Coney Island's Astroland said Thursday that she's calling it quits and that the historic amusement park will close for good Sunday.

Carol Albert, whose family has owned the Brooklyn amusement park for almost half a century, said she gave up on negotiating a two-year lease with Thor Equities after the developer missed a Thursday deadline to reply.

Thor spokesman Stefan Friedman said the company is “extremely disappointed that Carol Albert has decided to give up on the future of Coney Island when her current lease isn't even up for a number of months.”

The park was under threat of closing a year ago, but Thor – which owns the land under the park – and Astroland agreed to a one-year lease extension. It was not clear if another last-minute reprieve was possible this year. Albert said she wanted a two-year lease this time, to cover the summers of 2009 and 2010, because her 300 employees needed more job security.

Albert's father-in-law, Dewey Albert, unveiled the space-themed Astroland park in 1962. For years, its future has been the focus of bickering among the developer, the ride operator and city officials.

With two dozen rides on three acres, Astroland covers a large part of Coney Island. But many other rides, including the historic Cyclone roller coaster and Wonder Wheel, are not part of Astroland and are not affected by the announcement.

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