A petition is in the works to keep a very iconic and popular arcade open in Ventura.
If you have been to the Ventura Harbor, chances are you have made your way inside the Ventura Village Carousel.
This arcade has been around since the 80’s providing families with video games, a snack bar with homemade fudge and an authentic 1970’s carousel.
“We have been doing that for 18 years, and we like what we do and we want to stay here,” said Tristan Thames, who is the owner of Ventura Village Carousel.
Thames says his family business could be in jeopardy.
“The last five years we have been month to month on a lease,” said Thames.
“We basically have no security stating that we will be able to stay here at any given time.”
Thames says the Ventura Port District hasn’t given him a reason on why they will not extend the lease, but contractors have told him they plan to divide the space into multiple business.
“I have asked numerous times, and I have purposed my business numerous times to the Port District requesting basically time to sit down and talk about a potential long term lease, and they have pretty much said, ‘Thank you for your interest but we are going to keep you month to month,” said Thames.
While Thames is fighting to keep the tradition alive, the uncertainty of whether is will stay open has also hurt his business.
“What this directly means for me is that I can’t grow my business,” said Thames. “I have had plans for the past 5 years for upgrades, new games, changing my snack bar, and changing the way we do things, and I can’t implement any of that because if I do not know if I am going to be here.”
In one last effort to keep the place he grew up in alive, Thames started a petition.
He’s hoping this will change the Port District’s mind.
“I think we are a huge part of what this harbor is,” said Thames. “We are the only thing fun for kids to do here other than get ice cream and rent boats.”
You can view the petition here.