Board votes to close Libertyland - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Board votes to close Libertyland

Libertyland closed for the 2005 season in September. Thursday, it was announced that the park had closed for good, after members of the Libertyland board voted unanimously to shut the park down.

Eric Hanes thought he had a job as a mechanic working on the rides at the park. He expected to work there until he retired, after being hired only nine months ago.

"I came there because people had been there for 25 years," he said. "When I interviewed with them, I told them this was the last job I want to take."

40 employees and more than 300 teenagers who worked seasonally at the park will lose their jobs. Libertyland was the largest employer of teenagers in Memphis, and almost the only place in the city that hired 14 year-olds.

Still, Libertyland Board President Rick Winchester said for the past few years the park lost money.

"We've had losses the for last several years," he said. "We felt like those losses and expenses were something that were justified because of the number of young people we were hiring every summer."

But repeated losses over the years, and the half a million dollar loss this past season, was just too much to justify.

Now, Libertyland board members will be forced to decide what to do with all of the rides and structures at the park. Rides like the "Zippin' Pippin" and the carousel are considered by some to be historic.

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