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Paramus Park mall carousel closes

Photo Credit: below
Photo Credit: below
Photo Credit: below

EXCLUSIVE: After 37 years, the Golden Horse Carousel at Paramus Park stopped spinning today.

“My daughter and I took our last four rides tonight. Then they shut the place down,” Laura Hofsommer of Paramus told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“They left with love and support, surrounded by workers old and new, including one who remembered buckling me in as a tot. I don’t believe it’s gonna be the same ‘atmosphere’.”

David Bowen, who co-owns the carousel with his brother, Tony, said the mall owners revoked their lease and told them the carousel had to cease operating today.

They have two weeks to get it out, he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , adding that he and his brother received the notice five days ago.

Dismantling will be done at night when the mall is closed, he added.

“They said have a different direction for that area,” said Bowen, a partner in the Bowen & Bowen accounting firm in Hackensack. “They said they aren’t putting in a different carousel. It’s a decision that they said was made at the top.”

Paramus Park is one of 123 malls owned by Chicago-based General Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Representatives there did not return phone calls or emails.

Paramus Park general manager Minnie Adams said the mall still has its play area and life-sized chess court.

“We’ve truly enjoyed having the carousel on property for so many years,” Adams said. “We are constantly evaluating the evolving needs of the market and working hard to meet those needs and expectations to enhance our customers’ shopping experience.”

Installed two years after the mall opened in 1974, the carousel is unique in that it features full-sized horses but is small enough to fit inside that particular area.

  • WHAT WE THINK: After reading in CLIFFVIEW PILOT about the closing of the Golden Carousel at Paramus Park, Casey Marie Hittel of New Milford wrote to the owners: READ MORE….

Twenty or so years ago, the Bowens dismantled the ride so that an amusement company could add 1,400 lights. It was quickly returned to the same place.

“We would like to continue. My brother and I have been in this for a long time,” Bowen told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon. “But they have other plans.”

So now they’re trying to sell it.

“A good offer would be entertained,” Bowen said.

A sizable crowd last night — many of whom said they learned of the closing from CLIFFVIEW PILOT — made for an emotional farewell.

“Both of my kids, Vincent (10) and Julianna (12), had tear in their eyes when they walked away,” added Cathy Meglio.

Anita Volz, another mother of two said: “I sent an email and they were quick to respond and say they are going in a different direction. It makes no sense to alienate a large portion of your customer base and then say it’s still family friendly with the play area and chess set. Definitely won’t see our family [there] as much.” ( SEE MORE COMMENTS, BOTTOM )

PHOTOS ABOVE by Boyd A. Loving, who contributed to this story

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