New merry-go-round to get a whirl at Columbia mall Old one was target of customer complaints

January 09, 1997|By Erin Texeira | Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF

The carousel in The Mall in Columbia will be shutting down in 10 days because mall officials -- pointing to customer complaints -- did not renew the owner's lease, the officials said yesterday.

By late February, a new merry-go-round, a replica of an antique one, should be filling the second-floor spot next to Kinderfoto and Sears, said Karen P. Johnson, spokeswoman for the mall.

"It was pretty much a surprise," said Allene Eroh, general manger for Carousel Inc. in New Jersey, which owns the merry-go-round now in use. "We had no indication that this was coming."

The small merry-go-round, which has bobbing horses, stationary seats and a spinning booth, is popular -- particularly with families with young children -- on weekends and during heavy shopping seasons, Johnson said.

It is also not unusual for teen-agers to pay the $1.25 fare to use it after school, carousel attendants said.

But customers complained to mall officials on several occasions that the carousel did not open on time in the morning or was not attended at various times during the day, Johnson said.

Carousel Inc. had signed at least seven successive one-year leases before it was notified last month that it would be asked to leave by Jan. 19, Eroh said. The lease had been due to expire Dec. 31.

Johnson said the new company, Kehoe Enterprises of New Jersey, operates carousels in the White Marsh and Owings Mills malls, which, like The Mall in Columbia, are owned by the Rouse Co.

Pub Date: 1/09/97

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