Two years after receiving a notice that the rent would increase for the nearly 45-year-old Five Town Mini Golf and Batting Range business in Lawrence, owner Marty Rosen, is considering holding a rally to let his and community members’ voices be heard on the importance of the family-run business.
“At this point, it is a little bit preemptive,” he said. “It might come to that.”
Marty, who, with his son Matt, runs the business, received notice from the state transportation department that the monthly rent would increase from $6,400 to $11,700, an 82 percent jump, which began on Jan. 1, 2022.
Marty said the monthly rent is too much for his seasonal business, which operates from April to October.
Although the increase went into effect last year, the Rosen’s continued paying the monthly rent of $6,400 since the beginning of 2022.
Last July, Rosen received a letter from the DOT saying they would be evicted if he did not pay the owed rent.
As of May 2023, Marty said the debts, month’s charges, interest and late fees have accumulated up to $70,000.
“We benefit the people,” Marty said. “But they don’t care in this case.”
According to Marty, the last rent hike was in 2017, by 35 percent.
Marty said he has received support from local politicians, such as Assemblyman Ari Brown, Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Melissa Miller and State Sen. Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, who have sent letters to the department’s commissioner .
“He’s been there for 40-plus years, what are they going to do with this property?” Brown said. “I’m with Marty all the way. I’ve tried, but they are unwavering with this specific property.”
Brown said if Marty were to decide towards a rally, he would be there in support.
“We’re not doing this for 46 years because we don’t know what we’re doing,” Marty said. “We do the right thing with everyone regardless of who they are or where they come from.”
Marty said the government favors big businesses, leaving small businesses like his fighting for survivor.
“Unless you happen to be a big money contributor or somebody who has such a big business like Amazon that could contribute tax money to them, you’re a nobody. I’m a nobody,” he said.
The Rosen’s created a change.org petition called “Help Save Five Towns MiniGolf & Batting Range,” which brought community members to sign their support for the business.
As of press time, the petition has over 5,000 signees.
Tara Dawn Chiusano wrote on the petition page, “This is such a wonderful mini golf and batting range … and I have some great memories here … It would be a shame if we could no longer enjoy all they offer!!!”
Michael Quinn also wrote that although his swing didn’t improve, the batting cage created many memories for him, his brothers and father in the 1980s.