Owner is listing the Balboa Peninsula attraction for almost $150K. The buyer would have to pick it up, and dismantling it is like a puzzle, he said.
Among the iPods, cameras, family heirlooms and bestsellers being auctioned off on EBay, online shoppers can now bid on a Newport Beach landmark: the Balboa Fun Zone carousel.
The iconic merry-go-round has been placed on the auction block with an opening bid of $149,999.
Fun Zone Manager Patrick Moore said he hopes that interested parties will spot the attraction online and reach out to him.
“If I happen to sell it, wonderful, but I don’t expect to,” Moore said.
Moore has been with the Fun Zone since 1989, not long after the carousel was installed in 1985. It came from Scotts Valley in Northern California and replaced an older model. The Fun Zone had another carousel when it opened in 1936.
“I feel terrible about having to put it up for sale,” Moore said. “We’re very distressed about it leaving Balboa.”
On July 25, the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum told the Fun Zone that it would not renew its lease, and the attraction is expected to vacate after Sept. 24 when the Fun Zone celebrates its 75th anniversary. The celebration will include 1936 prices — nickel rides on the merry-go-round and 25-cent harbor cruises.
Other area attractions, including the Ferris wheel, are expected to remain.
Balboa Peninsula resident Gay W. Kelly said she was disappointed to hear that the 60-year-old carousel would have to leave. She has been visiting the Fun Zone since she was 10.
“It is a draw, we live on a bay front and we started coming down in ’49,” Kelly said. “All you see is families … and they’re all heading for the Fun Zone.”
In its “item specifics” on EBay, the merry-go-round is described as having a fiberglass deck and a 3-year-old canopy top. It also has 30 jumping horses, eight ponies and two chariots.
Shipping information is local pick-up only. Moving the merry-go-round would be up to the buyer, but dismantling it wouldn’t be too difficult, Moore said.
Taking it apart would have to begin “piece by piece. It’s just a puzzle,” Moore said.
As of Thursday, no one had bid for the attraction.
Although she’s sad to see it go, Kelly said she would want a piece of the Balboa Peninsula landmark in her house.
“I’d like a horse in my house, but I’m not going to get it,” Kelly said. “And my husband would kill me!”
Freelance writer Alexandra Baird contributed to this report