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Edaville lives

Post  Betep on Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:04 am

Wicked Local:
Edaville lives

CARVER —

When it was announced last year that Edaville USA would be sold, many people who had considered Edaville a family traditions shared by multiple generations thought they’d paid their last visit, taken their last train ride through the woods and bogs of Carver.

Though no buyer has yet been found, the park’s owners recently announced that Edaville will continue to operate this year, albeit on a shorter schedule.

Marlborough-based land developer and Edaville owner Jon Delli Priscoli explained that it was never his intention to see Edaville cease operation.

“I don’t want to see the attraction go dark,” he said. “We had two very strong suitors, both of which fell through, and the economy isn’t helping things. There are other interested parties, and (Edaville operator) Brenda Johnson wanted to stay involved. I am basically helping her, and we are doing a condensed schedule.”

Many of the nearly 6,000 fans of Edaville on Facebook are rejoicing with the news that their favorite attraction will live to see another day.

“Can’t wait to bring my son, Jack, to see Day Out with Thomas in the fall! Thank you, Edaville,” wrote fan Jennifer Williams. “Now all four of my kids will get to enjoy Edaville – just like their mom did as a little girl.”

Beginning next month, the park will be open weekends through December.

Read more: Edaville lives - Wareham, MA - Wicked Local Wareham http://www.wickedlocal.com/wareham/archive/x181939448/Edaville-lives#ixzz1UyMr92us

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Update:

Post  Betep on Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:36 am

From SouthCoast Today:
Edaville owner has change of heart

By Brian Boyd
bboyd@s-t.com
September 24, 2011 12:00 AM

For several months, the future of Edaville Railroad was in doubt after the owner announced in November 2010 that the popular attraction was up for sale.

But Jon Delli Priscoli, a Marlboro-based commercial real estate developer who owns the 230-acre site in Carver, has changed his mind and is adding new rides.

The new season at Edaville begins Oct. 1 and will include the holiday favorite Festival of Lights as well as new events.

"It's coming back and it's coming back better than ever," Delli Priscoli said in a telephone interview Friday.

Edaville USA, which is believed to be one of the world's first tourist railroads, originally opened in April 1947 and was named for the initials of the original owner, Ellis D. Atwood. In 1999, Delli Priscoli and two partners leased the park from the Atwood family and reopened it after a seven-year hiatus.

Delli Priscoli bought the park in 2002. The following year, he agreed to lease the park to Brenda Johnson and Robert Julian, who had previously worked there.

After Johnson and Julian decided not to renew their lease, Delli Priscoli announced he was putting the park up for sale for $10 million. He was unable to secure a deal with a buyer who could keep Edaville alive, he said.

"They didn't share the vision, have the economic wherewithal, or have the passion," he said.

By late June of this year, he decided to keep the park and make further improvements, to make sure the traditional attraction didn't disappear.

"I don't want to see another provincial family attraction gone from New England," Delli Priscoli said.

Thomas the Tank Engine will launch the new season. Families will be able to take a 20-minute ride on a 15-ton replica of Thomas next weekend and Oct. 7-10.

In addition to Thomas, the Cranberry Festival and the Festival of Lights, this season promises new offerings: a country fair with the Berenstain Bears later next month; a "ghost train" on the weekend before Halloween; and the Polar Express train ride around the holidays. Other improvements include upgraded food service with the help of Little Red Smokehouse, according to the announcement.

Delli Priscoli, who has a summer house in Carver, said he plans to ramp up even more next year, adding an antique show and children's roller coaster.

Earlier this week, Delli Priscoli visited New Bedford to tout the benefits of freight train service. He was recently named a board member and chief executive officer of Cape Rail Inc., parent company of the Cape Cod Central Railroad, which operates dinner trains and other tourist train rides, and the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, a freight service.

He sees a potential for bringing tourist train rides to the New Bedford and Fall River area and cross-marketing that business with Edaville.

He said his wife and three sons, 14, 12, and 3, are excited about the park, and one of the previous operators, Johnson, has stayed on to help with the effort.

"We're all very excited," bounce Delli Priscoli said.

For more information, visit www.edaville.com.

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