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Staten Island Go-Kart Facility Reopens Under New Name and Owner

By Nicholas Rizzi | April 6, 2017 9:26am
 New York Carousel won a contract to take over the go-kart park in Emerson Hill and renamed it Staten Island FunPark.
New York Carousel won a contract to take over the go-kart park in Emerson Hill and renamed it Staten Island FunPark.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

EMERSON HILL — The operator of a now-shuttered Midland Beach amusement park is taking over a go-kart facility in the borough, revamping it with upgrades and a new name.

New York Carousel, which shuttered their Fantasy Shore children's amusement park earlier this year after opening it in 2014, won a contract from the city to take over the outdoor go-kart park at 215 Schmidts Lane.

Formerly known as Staten Island Go-Karts, the new owners renamed the venue Staten Island FunPark, opening it for the first time this season on Saturday.

"We think Staten Island is an incredible place for entertainment and leisure. We think there's a need for a really great attraction," said Ami Abramson, one of NY Carousel's directors. "We think it's a wonderful site and location with tremendous potential."

Abramson's company previously owned The Fantasy Shore children's amusement park in Midland Beach, but decided not to reopen the park this year because the Army Corps of Engineers needs the space as part of its flood prevention plan.

Because the amusement park would be forced to shut down when work on the seawall starts, Abramson said they decided to move to the Emerson Hill site.

NY Carousel won the contract from the Parks Department earlier this year to take over the go-kart facility, and has been working under a temporary agreement until its contract gets finalized by the agency, which is expected to happen next week.

The company has already pumped close to $200,000 into renovations at the venue, redoing the snack bar, making mechanical repairs to the go-karts and paving the track.

The Parks Department put out a Request for Proposals in 2015 for someone to run and update the outdoor space. Its former operator, Michael Mancusi, did not re-apply to continue running the spot, a spokesman for the Parks Department said.

"As Staten Island continues to become a more popular destination for both New Yorkers and visitors alike, we want to provide the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities," Staten Island Parks Commissioner Lynda Ricciardone said in a statement.

NY Carousel plans to add electric go-karts, switch out the batting cages and bring in some of the rides from their Midland Beach amusement park in the future.

"We hope this will be a mainstay in Staten Island forever," Abramson said.

"We wanted to provide the public with an upgraded new experience and make it a really special place that people will go to," he added. "They don't need to run out to New Jersey for any reason at all. Stay in Staten Island and stay home."

The Parks Department will host a public hearing on the contract at 2:30 p.m. on April 10 at 2 Lafayette St. in Manhattan.