Hoffman's Playland
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Hoffman's Playland
Hoffman's Playland
Location Latham, New York, United States of America
Owner David & Ruth Hoffman
Opened 1952
Closed 2014
Operating season Late March/Early April-September
Rides
Total 17
Roller coasters 1
Water rides 0

Hoffman's Playland was an amusement park located in Latham, New York on Route 9. The park featured 18 rides along with food stands, a Subway, a party area, and an arcade. The park operated from 1952 until its closing on September 14, 2014.

History

In 1952, William Hoffman founded Hoffman's Playland in Latham, New York. The park originally featured a miniature train, and a Merry-Go Round. William Hoffman and his eventual wife Hedy expanded the park over the years to include more children's rides to cater to the baby boomers. Hoffman's Playland opened during a golden era of children's amusement parks. William Hoffman's son David Hoffman took over as the park's owner in the 1970's and operated the park with his wife Ruth until it's closing in 2014.

Throughout the 1950's and 1960's, the park expanded to include more children's rides including many popular Allan Herschell Company rides. In 1953, the Boat ride was added, along with live animals. in 1955, the Caterpillar ride was added and 1956 brought the addition of the Sky Fighter Jets. 1958 saw the addition of the Helicopter ride. The park expanded again in 1960 to include a Herschell Turnpike ride and a Herschell Little Dipper Roller Coaster.

As the park progressed into the 1960's and 70's, it was evident there was a need for larger rides that adults and teenagers could ride, along with additional rides to handle growing crowds. In 1962, the Playland purchased a set of Lusse Auto Skooter Bumpers Cars, and in 1965, an Eli Bridge Company Scrambler was added. In 1971, the park added a 50 foot Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel, and 1974 saw the addition of a Frank Hrubetz & Company Paratrooper. The 1980's brought major change to the park as a large entrance building was added and featured offices, a Subway (restaurant), ticket booths, a new train station, and a gift shop. In 1983, a Samba Space Ship ride was added, and in 1985 a Tilt-a-Whirl opened after being relocated from the closed Hanson's Amusement Park. Additionally, the 1980's brought change to the park's miniature railroad. The original train could no longer accommodate the larger crowds, so in the early 1980's the park bought and refurbished an Allan Herschell S-24 Iron Horse train with 3 coaches and put it into operation for the 1980 season. The park would find another identical engine with 3 coaches 8 years later and refurbish it to be ready for the 1988 season. The original turnpike ride was also retired for a new car ride, the 4 X 4 Trucks.

The park would continue expanding into the 1990's and early 2000's. The year 2000 brought the addition of the Balloon Flight ride. The early 2000's also brought the addition of the Tea Cup umbrella ride. In 2007, the Red Baron plane ride was added. The Red Baron was purchased and refurbished from the recently closed Catskill Game Farm. This resulted into the relocation of the Helicopters and the retirement of the Space Ship Samba ride.

In 2013, rumors surfaced that the Hoffman's would retire and close the park. The park remained open for the 2013 season, however at the start of the 2014 season, the owners, Dave and Ruth Hoffman, announced their intent to retire and close the park in September. The park officially closed at 6pm on September 14th, 2014. Large crowds on the last day of operation resulted in rides being run well past closing time and into the evening.

Throughout the last season, the Hoffman's searched for a local buyer of the rides but were not successful. The park's rides and equipment were scheduled to go to auction, however shortly after the park closed, Huck Finn's Warehouse in nearby Downtown Albany made an offer to purchase the amusement rides and equipment. The park was dismantled and moved to a newly built park next to Huck Finn's Warehouse. The new park, Huck Finn's Playland, opened in June of 2015.

Rides

As of the parks closing in 2014, the park offered the following rides:

Ride Year Opened Year Closed Manufacturer Notes
Hoffman's Playland Railroad 1952 2014 Miniature Train Company/Allan Herschell Company Original train manufactured by the Miniature Train Company. The 1980 and 1988 replacement engines were manufactured by the Allan Herschell Company.
Merry-Go-Round 1952 2014 Allan Herschell Company Merry-Go-Round with 3-abreast horses and 2 chariots.
Boats 1953 2014 Allan Herschell Company Circular wet boat ride.
Little Wheel 1960's 2014 Eli Bridge Company Miniature Eli Bridge ferris wheel.
Red Baron 2007 2014 Chance Manufacturing Aerial plane ride with individual controls to lower/raise the plane.
Balloon Flight 2000 2014 Bradley & Kaye Aieral balloon ride.
Umbrella Ride Unknown 2014 Hampton
Caterpillar 1955 2014 Allan Herschell Company Circular revolving Caterpillar ride.
Tea Cups Unknown 2014 Hampton Hampton umbrella car ride.
Helicopters 1958 2014 Allan Herschell Company Circular helicopter ride with individual bars to control height of Helicopter.
Bumper Cars 1962 2014 Lusse Brothers' Classic Lusse Bumper Cars.
Scrambler 1965 2014 Eli Bridge Company Classic Eli Bridge scrambler ride.
Paratrooper 1974 2014 Hrubetz Fast spinning and elevating Paratrooper ride.
Tilt-a-Whirl 1985 2014 Sellner Manufacturing Classic Tilt-a-Whirl ride.
Roller Coaster 1960 2014 Allan Herschell Company Little Dipper Herschell roller coaster.
Big Wheel 1971 2014 Eli Bridge Company 50 foot Eli ferris wheel.
4x4 Trucks Unknown 2014 Wisdom Rides Individual cars that ran along a tracked route.
Samba 1983 2007/2008 Zamperla Space themed elevating ride.
Sky Fighter Jets 1956 2014 Allan Herschell Company Aerial jet ride with shooting guns.

See Also

Huck Finn's Playland

List of defunct amusement parks

References


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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