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Chicago-based amusement park owner finalizes deal to lease Fantasy Island

Chicago-based amusement park owner finalizes deal to lease Fantasy Island

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A portion of the former Fantasy Island amusement park on Grand Island could be reopened as soon as July, Town Supervisor John Whitney confirmed Thursday.

Whitney said a lease deal has been finalized between Chicago investor Gene Staples and Arizona-based STORE Capital, owners of the Fantasy Island property, which could allow for the opening of the water park portion of the amusement park by next month.

Whitney said Staples owns Indiana Beach Amusement Park and Water Resort in Monticello, Ind., and Clementon Park and Splash World in Clementon, N.J.

The Indiana park and campground had been family-owned from 1926 to 2008, before changing hands and being sold to Apex Parks Group in 2015. Apex closed the 95-year-old park in 2020.

Apex Parks Group bought Fantasy Island from Martin DiPietro for $11 million in 2016 and leased the property to STORE Capital. Apex operated the park before closing it last year and removing most of the rides.

Two months later, Apex filed bankruptcy and defaulted on its lease payment, which ended up reverting the park's contents to STORE Capital.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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