WNYT.com

Future of Hoffman's Playland

Posted at: 06/15/2013 9:08 PM
Updated at: 06/16/2013 9:50 AM
By: Dan Levy

Visitors enjoying Hoffman's Playland in Latham, on Saturday.
Visitors enjoying Hoffman's Playland in Latham, on Saturday.

LATHAM - To keep the carousel turning, and the scrambler scrambling, and the scenic train ride on track, Dave Hoffman and his wife are working 14 hour days at the family fun park in Latham that his grandfather opened 61 years ago.

After working there his entire life, Dave is ready to jump off the carousel. He says, "we are going to retire at some point."

After word got out that the Hoffman's were planning their retirement, rumors began to circulate that the ride was over at the legendary fun park, that developers would almost certainly scoop up the valuable real estate, and essentially pave the play land paradise.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says, "I'm all for economic development but in this case, this is something we should try to keep. It's not being abandoned, it's making money, so I want to try to team up with the Hoffman's and with the IDA in Albany County and try to find a buyer for that property that will continue to operate it as Hoffman's Playland."

Hoffman says, "All options are on the table so I welcome discussing that and any other option that makes sense for my family and the community."

McCoy says,  "I just hope we can find someone from the Capital Region that is willing to invest in this park to continue its tradition."

In addition to the memories and the sentimentality that is conjured by the name Hoffman's Playland, Dan McCoy says he can't overlook the type of economic engine that this fun park has been for the last sixty years and still going strong.

"We always talk about taxes in Albany County. If you look at the impact that has from people who are visiting it, they're not just going to Hoffman's, they're going to the local shops, they're going to the restaurants. It will have an impact on that whole site, says McCoy."

The impact Hoffman's has had on generations of area children is immeasurable. Dave Hoffman is well aware of the treasured landmark his family created. He says people thank him for it every day.

Deep down, Dave truly hopes the play land survives, he's just not sure how long he can survive 14 hour work days.