FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno's Playland, which was in jeopardy of closing this weekend, will now be staying open until the end of June.
"I have a lot of employees in here that need this job. So, for me to be able to tell them that they get to keep their job, they don't have to sleep in their car cause they can't pay rent or something, it means a lot," said Candace Cuisinier, general manager of Playland.
Cuisinier got emotional after hearing the Fresno amusement park will keep its doors open through the end of June.
On Thursday, Playland management met with board members from Storyland Fresno to create a plan that would keep the park open.
That plan calls for lowering ticket prices and admission and expanding park hours in the hope of boosting attendance.
The news of the park staying open doesn't come as a surprise to one Fresno City Council member.
"The last time that they announced they were in closure danger turned out to be a marketing gimmick by the operator of the park," said Miguel Arias.
Councilmember Arias says on December 4th, the city council met Playland management.
That's when park officials explained they were using the closing announcement to boost ticket sales.
"It was successful for them the last time, and they were going to try and use this approach on an ongoing basis. I don't think it's a great approach as an amenity of the city, but unfortunately, that's how they have chosen to operate," Arias said.
Action News reached out to the owner of Playland.
He sent over a statement, which reads in part:
"I want to clarify and directly respond to the accusation that closing down was a marketing strategy, emphatically, no it was not."
Action News also spoke to a Storyland board member who says the closing announcement was not a marketing gimmick.
After opening in 1955, Playland quickly became a childhood staple for kids in Fresno, including Brianna Kileen.
Now, the Fresno native says bringing her kids to the amusement park is nostalgic.
"I remember coming here with my parents and my brother when we were little. And now I have kids of my own, getting to come back and ride the same rides that we rode, it's really fun and really special," said Brianna Kileen, a Fresno resident.
Starting January 18, the park will be expanding its hours of operations:
Playland will also make several other changes to its pricing:
All Thursdays will be community 1/2 price admission days.
All Wednesdays will offer school tour options starting as low as $4 per child. Wednesday's school tour hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All Admission options are now $10 for everyone (Children 2 and under are free)
A $25 per person monthly pass that includes unlimited visits.