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  #261  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2010, 4:50 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/c...Xzs8da74iAOTvM

Coney shul sour notes

By RICH CALDER
June 18, 2010

Quote:
Two Brooklyn synagogues and their worshipers sued Borough President Marty Markowitz yesterday over his summer concerts and plans for a Coney Island amphitheater to host it.

The suit argues that the concert series violates a city law prohibiting amplified sound within 500 feet of religious institutions when services are taking place. It seeks a court order to block future concerts.

Sea Breeze Jewish Center and Temple Beth Abraham are across the street from the existing bandshell at Asser Levy Park, and both say they host services daily.

The Seaside Concert Series is set to kick off its 20th year of free shows at Asser Levy on July 15 with performances by Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee.

For decades, no one challenged the concerts, but now the synagogues and many Brighton Beach residents are furious over Markowitz's plan to expand the shows with an 8,000-seat amphitheater.

Markowitz fired back, vowing: "The show will go on!"


"I never would have thought that in my lifetime a Jewish synagogue would try to take away joy and happiness from tens of thousands of Brooklynites out of spite," he said.


Meanwhile, the temporary water slides are under construction near the Parachute Drop...







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  #262  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2010, 2:14 AM
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Any word on when this miniature water park will open?
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  #263  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2010, 7:55 PM
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Any word on when this miniature water park will open?
Not sure, but it shouldn't take long. That "trampoline" thingy is already in the ground. And the slides themselves look inflatable.
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  #264  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2010, 2:16 AM
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  #265  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 5:50 AM
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Coney Island tops #1 on the list



June 23, 2010
Ross Ellis

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Who doesn’t love beach boardwalks? The sea air, leisurely strolling, amusement parks and everything your kids love during the summer.

About 60 towns have boardwalks and the number one boardwalk in the U.S. from New York to California, is Coney Island which took first place.

Since 1980, Coney Island has told the story of why Coney Island is important enough to one day retake its place at the cultural center of New York. Kids and teens alike will love the Coney Island museum, the rides and attractions and the New York Aquarium.

The new Luna Park amusement park opens with 19 fun-filled rides that are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face, including the never-before-seen Air Race. And there’s also the tried and true thrills and all-out joy of the Cyclone Rollercoaster, the Wonder Wheel, the family-friendly New York Aquarium, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game and the ever popular Beach and Boardwalk. Plus there are the “Coney Only’s”: one-of-a-kind events like the Mermaid Day Parade, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, Siren Music Festival, the Seaside Summer Concert Series at Asser Levy Park, Friday Night Fireworks and so much more!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891...69753#37869753
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  #266  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 5:57 AM
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Any word on when this miniature water park will open?
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...lide_show.html

Coney Island keeps the new attractions coming, its latest is the Water Slide Beach



BY Erin Durkin
June 23rd 2010

Quote:
There's a new way to make a splash on the Coney Island beach this summer.

A Water Slide Beach - with three inflatable water slides and bungee jumping - is coming to the spot next to Steeplechase Pier.

The main attraction is the Steeplechase Slide, a three-story blowup water slide, said Anthony Gach, owner of Party Magic USA, which was tapped by the city Parks Department to run the attraction.

"It's a giant inflatable water slide," Gach said. "You've never seen anything like it. It's really a treat."

After a grand opening Fourth of July weekend, Water Slide Beach will be open every day through Labor Day, complete with lounge chairs and food.

The other two blowup slides are the kid-sized Big Cahuna and the Niagara Falls, which shoots riders out onto a slip and slide landing.


Less adventurous visitors can lounge on rental beach chairs with umbrellas in a tropical-themed cabana area and snack from food stands that will include a mini-Nathan's franchise.

The third time was the charm for the Parks Department, which launched previous searches for a "beach adventure" concession in 2005 and 2007, but didn't get any takers.

Gach said he jumped at the chance when he heard about it last year.

"What's better than having a water slide at the beach?" he said.
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  #267  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 3:45 PM
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Thanks for the update NYguy. It seems every week Coney Island has been having a new attraction built. This must be the fastest growing amusement park in the country right now.
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  #268  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 5:51 PM
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Thanks for the update NYguy. It seems every week Coney Island has been having a new attraction built. This must be the fastest growing amusement park in the country right now.
I don't know about that. But I expect the Scream Zone to begin construction towards the end of the year. Coney Island will look different, except for the 3 constants (Wonder Wheel, Cyclone, and Parachute Drop). But the real fun begins in a couple of years when the more permanent park begins to take shape.
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  #269  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 11:16 PM
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http://brooklyn.ny1.com/content/top_...concert-series

Judge Pulls Plug On Coney Island Concert Series

6/30/2010

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A judge has signed an injunction to stop the music for a Brooklyn concert series, but the show may still go on.

The court ordered the city to comply with a law that bans outdoor sound amplification within 500 feet of a house of worship during religious services.

The Sea Breeze Jewish center and Temple Beth Abraham filed a lawsuit against the "Seaside Concert Series" in Coney Island.

The City Council passed an amendment to the law that makes an exception for amphitheaters and parks with a permit for performances.

Borough President Marty Markowitz says he is confident Mayor Michael Bloomberg will sign the new law before the first show of the season on July 15th.
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http://www.nypress.com/blog-6763-mar...in-action.html

Markowitz Concerts Back in Action

By: Lauryn Brooke

Quote:
“The show will go on!” Those were the words of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz after the City Council approved a 90-day pilot program on June 29, allowing Coney Island’s Seaside Summer Concert Series to continue at its home in Asser Levy Park.

The concert series, a summer staple for 32 years, has be held at Asser Levy since 1991 and came under fire this summer when two local synagogues filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court, contending that the concert locale violated a city law prohibiting amplified sounds within 500 feet of religious institutions.

Since the worshippers of Sea Breeze Jewish Center and Temple Beth Abraham haven’t had many complaints about the concert series in the last two decades, maybe they finally got ticked off by Markowitz’s plan to expand the park, which includes an 87,200-square foot open-air amphitheater, a new playground and other upgrades which would make the park more desirable and thus, more crowded during these sunny summer days.

The $64 million plan is won’t be complete until 2012 and the 500-foot rule is still being studied, but Markowitz can rest easy this summer as he listens to the sounds of Aretha Franklin, John Legend, the Beach Boys and more.
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  #270  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2010, 1:33 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/ar...er=rss&emc=rss

Bringing Fun to Brooklyn



Free concert series, intitiatives of the Brooklyn borough president, attract big crowds.



A rendering of a proposed band shell at Asser Levy Park.



By BEN SISARIO
July 15, 2010

Quote:
MARTY MARKOWITZ’S duties as the Brooklyn borough president include appointing community board members and overseeing a budget for capital projects. But one morning this week his platform was all about fun, which he advocated with all the vigor of a contested campaign issue.

“People have a right to have fun in this city,” Mr. Markowitz said in an interview in his office, his voice rising to a level of bombast well known to his constituents. “What are we going to do, become puritans? As long as we’re not inconveniencing in any dramatic way, we have to stay fun here.”

For three decades, going back to his earliest days as a state senator in the late 1970s — he has been the borough president since 2002 — Mr. Markowitz has supported summer fun initiatives that have revolved around two free concert series in Brooklyn parks that, despite relatively little outside notice, are among the most popular in the city. The Martin Luther King Jr. concerts at Wingate Field in East Flatbush and the Seaside series at Asser Levy/Seaside Park in Coney Island and Brighton Beach regularly attract more than 10,000 fans a show, significantly more than the capacity of either Central Park SummerStage or the Celebrate Brooklyn! band shell in Prospect Park.

The series — both of which opened this week and continue for six more weeks — have lineups that can be eye-poppingly starry. Alumni of the King concerts include Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and a checklist of soul oldies like the Stylistics and the O’Jays. Earth, Wind and Fire; the B-52s; and Hall & Oates have played Seaside.

In their biggest coup yet, both series will feature Aretha Franklin, on Aug. 9 at Wingate and Aug. 12 at Asser Levy, in what she says are her first performances in Brooklyn.


In a telephone interview on Thursday she stated her plans for the shows: “I think what they would like to hear in Brooklyn are the hits. And after that we’re going to rock. I want to rock some of this hip-hop.”

Mr. Markowitz said he had been trying to book her for more than 20 years. When asked why she decided to do the shows now, Ms. Franklin said that the timing worked, as she had plans to meet with students in Brooklyn. She added, “What’s better than having a foot-long hot dog at Coney Island?”

Artists are paid for their appearances; each series has a budget of around $1.3 million, three-quarters of which comes from corporate sponsorships. But performing for a big, appreciative crowd deep in Brooklyn can be its own reward, said John Legend, who played the King series two years ago and will return to Seaside on Aug. 5.

“It really is an authentic real place, not a glamorous place,” Mr. Legend said this week after stopping by Mr. Markowitz’s office at Borough Hall, where he was shooting a video. “You feel like you’re performing for the people. Not just the people who can afford a $60 or $70 ticket, but everybody. And that’s fun.”

At his office, where he handed Mr. Legend a shirt with a Brooklyn logo, Mr. Markowitz enthusiastically praised him as the only artist who has returned part of his fee for charity.

“These are basically moderate-income working people,” Mr. Markowitz said of the audience. “For a lot of people there, this is their summer. Many of them can’t afford to go to the Hamptons or to the Berkshires.”

On Monday a diverse and multigenerational crowd of about 10,000 showed up for the opening show of the series, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic at Wingate, a city park that doubles as a school athletic field. But an unscientific survey of fans suggested that most were from the surrounding neighborhoods, and that plenty were longtime attendees.

“These concerts are great,” said Pia Saxon, 57, who added that had been going to the shows since they began. “You can see whoever you want for free. I’ve seen Stephanie Mills, the O’Jays, the Stylistics, the Dramatics, Curtis Mayfield.”


(Mr. Mayfield is the subject of a sad footnote that will forever be attached to the King concerts. He was paralyzed after a lighting scaffold fell on him there during a windstorm in 1990.)

But not everyone in Brooklyn is a fan of the concerts, or of Mr. Markowitz’s plan for their future. At Asser Levy Park, where the series was to open on Thursday night with a concert by Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee, Mr. Markowitz’s proposal for a sleek $64 million amphitheater has drawn community opposition.

Two synagogues have sued the city to stop the concerts, saying that the noise disturbs religious services. They cite a city law prohibiting outdoor amplification within 500 feet of a school or house of worship.

The synagogues — Temple Beth Abraham and the Sea Breeze Jewish Center, both on Sea Breeze Avenue — also assert that the planned amphitheater, which would have 5,000 seats and accommodate 3,000 more people on a raised lawn, would bring too much traffic to the area. They say they have a petition with 13,000 signatures.

On Tuesday their opposition hit a roadblock when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed a bill modifying the city noise law for 90 days, allowing the concerts to go forward. But Norman Siegel, the prominent civil rights lawyer who is representing the synagogues in their suit, criticized the temporary law as unfair, and said the opposition would continue.

“They legitimized an illegality,” Mr. Siegel said, “which is why so many people in this community are very upset. It smacks of favoritism.”

Mr. Markowitz, 65, said the amphitheater plan — designed by the international firm Grimshaw Architects — would also fix the park’s chronic drainage problems and is a necessary improvement. Most of its cost, he said, has already been allocated through the capital budget that Mr. Markowitz controls.

During an interview he bristled at the suggestion that the plan was mainly about his legacy. He said he viewed it as a way to allow the concert series to outlast him, dismissing the objections as impediments to fun.

“This whole opposition is bogus,” he said. “They don’t want people there. That’s what it comes down to. It’s bunk.”

The concerts began modestly but have swelled in size. As a state senator Mr. Markowitz created the Seaside series in 1979 at Midwood Field, booking Army bands and other small acts. His first real star, he said, was Cab Calloway in 1982. There was no backstage area, so he took Calloway to a nearby friend’s house for a shower and a kosher meal.

The Seaside series moved to Asser Levy in 1991; the Martin Luther King concerts, which began in 1983 at the old Boys High Field in East Flatbush, moved to nearby Wingate in 1987. Now the concerts are managed by Debra Garcia, a veteran of music publicity and management whose clients have included Van Halen and Pat Benatar.

Most bookings are of the oldies variety. (“Only in the last few years have we broken into the ’80s and ’90s,” Mr. Markowitz said.) But when a particularly hot act plays, the crowds can be enormous. Last year the King series booked Keyshia Cole, a young R&B star who had a reality show on BET. Wingate was mobbed with so many thousands of surplus fans that the police shut down the surrounding streets and made two arrests for disorderly conduct.

Mr. Markowitz said that that kind of response is rare. While he never has brought in an act as famous as Ms. Franklin, he said that he hoped booking her twice would lessen the risk of overflow crowds.

At Mr. Clinton’s show on Monday some fans cited security as one of the strong points of the series.

“This is a real concert with no troubles,” said Martin James of Staten Island, who works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and was wearing a black-and-gold George Clinton T-shirt. “People complain that you get frisked when you come in, but that makes it safe.”

Next to Mr. James his friend Noel Hawkins, who said he lived nearby and also worked for the M.T.A., had more succinct praise for the series. “I’d pay for this,” he said.

Here a schedule for the Martin Luther King Jr. and Seaside concert series in Brooklyn. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., and are free. Information: (718) 222-0600 or brooklynconcerts.com



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  #271  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2010, 8:31 PM
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I will have to check this out next time I'm there
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  #272  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2010, 11:49 AM
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I will have to check this out next time I'm there
I plan to make a few myself.
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  #273  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2010, 1:22 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...ieRW1EBjwemhHN

Cleaning up new Coney

By RICH CALDER
August 10, 2010

Quote:
The city and the owners of the new Luna Park are making it a bumpy ride for some Coney Island mainstays hoping to be in on the fabled boardwalk's revival.

Inspectors this week began cleaning up the boardwalk, weeding out illegal food carts and issuing warnings about overflowing public trash cans.

Five businesses were warned their permits could be revoked if problems are not fixed soon, said Parks Department spokesman Philip Abrahamson.

The Post reported yesterday that Zamperla, the city's handpicked operator for Luna Park, is playing hardball with 11 businesses that must now come to it for new leases -- ordering them to submit plans by Aug. 31 justifying their return next season or risk being booted.

Some business owners welcome the clean sweep, claiming that some of their neighbors have for years illegally subleased boardwalk space to vendors who sell booze and snub city health codes.
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  #274  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2010, 7:35 PM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...ey-demolitions

Sitt Readies for Coney Island Demolitions



By Eliot Brown
August 16, 2010

Quote:
A push by preservationists be damned, Coney Island landlord Joe Sitt appears to be near the start of property demolitions in the amusement hub's central district.

Late last week, the Department of Buildings approved demolitions on two buildings: the Shore Hotel, built in 1903, and the Bank of Coney Island, built in 1923, according to advocacy group Save Coney Island.

A set of preservation and Coney Island groups had been trying to preserve many of the buildings in the area, some of which are over 100 years old. The rationale was that the buildings were a big part of Coney's historic past, and it shouldn't come at any immediate cost to Mr. Sitt, particularly given that he doesn't have any grand plans for them right now: He just wants to put up one-story taxpayers in their place.

Mr. Sitt, however, had his own plans, and, from his perspective, it might be easier to ready his prime land for any eventual large-scale development (read: amusement-themed hotel) without the old buildings, and the looming threat of landmarking protections.

Here's a statement from Juan Rivero, spokesman for Save Coney Island, politely asking Joe Sitt not to go ahead with demolitions:

We urge Thor Equities to halt its demolition before it does permanent damage to a national treasure ... Thor has the opportunity to emerge as a hero out of this process by sitting down with the city, the Coney Island community, and preservationists to devise a redevelopment plan that utilizes, rather than squanders, these precious historic resources and valuable economic assets. Let's redevelop Coney Island the right way.

Interestingly, the Save Coney Island folks also snapped a few photos this morning of workers doing demolition on another property owned by Mr. Sitt that hadn't yet received permits (at least none on the DOB's Web site): the Henderson Music Hall.

All of this comes as the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation gave the area a Determination of Eligibility as a historic district, a designation that might enable landlords to qualify for tax credits to develop in the area while incorporating the existing historic structures.

That, however, might not be of much use, should the wrecking ball indeed make its way to Coney.
http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Jo...&allcommbd=313
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  #275  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2010, 11:18 PM
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...740052814.html

Coney Island Sites to Fall
Old Bank, Hotel to Be Demolished Amid Objections.


Quote:
By JOSEPH DE AVILA
August 18, 2010


Two of Coney Island's oldest buildings are about to be razed.

Demolition applications for the Bank of Coney Island and the Shore Hotel were approved last week, according to the city Department of Buildings. The pending demolition of these structures is the latest setback for community groups that tried to have the buildings preserved as landmarks earlier this year.

"This is a failure of imagination. It shows a tremendous disregard for Coney Island's history and Brooklyn," says Juan Rivero, a spokesman with Save Coney Island, a community group working to restore Coney Island.

The real-estate development firm Thor Equities owns the Bank of Coney Island and the Shore Hotel, along with several other properties along Surf Avenue. The company owned nearly 10 acres in the neighborhood's amusement zone, but sold more than half of the property to the city for $96 million last year.

"As the City of New York has said repeatedly, these buildings have no significant historical value…If we are to make Coney Island a viable and economically healthy destination, then it's essential that we upgrade and transition the local decaying and outdated infrastructure," said Thor Equities spokesman Stefan Friedman in a statement.

Some Coney Island residents have become angry with Thor Equities and its chief executive, Joseph Sitt, for evicting businesses owners and leaving those spaces vacant. The planned destruction of the bank and the hotel, both currently empty, is the latest slight from Thor Equities, these residents say.

"There were a lot of attempts to reach out to Thor Equities and Joe Sitt, who in the past was an accessible guy," says Dick Zigun, who runs the Coney Island Museum and the annual Mermaid Parade. "Suddenly he has not been accessible. He is not talking to anyone. He is just forging ahead."

Thor Equities plans to replace the bank and hotel with temporary buildings that will be ready at the start of the 2011 summer season, Mr. Friedman said. "From the moment Thor started investing in Coney Island, numerous employees—including Joe—have constantly engaged with the community to discuss the company's exciting plans for Coney Island," he said.

Coney Island's boardwalk was revitalized this summer with the opening of Luna Park, its first new amusement park in decades. But Surf Avenue and many of its arteries continue to struggle. The thoroughfare, once a vibrant retail strip, is now dotted with a mix of empty storefronts, vacant lots and fast-food joints.

The Bank of Coney, built in 1923, has been vacant since 1997. The Shore Hotel, built in 1903, was operated as a hotel up until two years ago.

Earlier this year, an application was submitted to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the bank and the hotel along with other buildings, but that application was denied, according to the commission.

Since then, Save Coney Island and several other groups applied to have Coney Island registered with the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
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  #276  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2010, 12:26 PM
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Redevelopment Rolling Along for Coney Island

Sunday, August 22, 2010
By Kathleen Horan

Quote:
As the summer season nears an end in Coney Island, some residents and preservationists are upset that it may be the last summer for some of the oldest buildings there.

Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA, says next season the amusement park will be twice the size it is now, but several structures, including the Bank of Coney Island and the Shore Hotel along Surf Avenue, will disappear.

"Some of the buildings you're used to seeing they're gonna be gone," Zigun says. "And there's going to be two empty holes until somebody's ready to build hotels."

A spokesman for Thor Equities, which owns the buildings, says they have no significant historical value and are in disrepair, and that they're being torn down to upgrade the infrastructure and make Coney Island a "viable and economically healthy destination."

Two other historic structures, the Shore Theatre and the Child's Restaurant building, are expected to be landmarked by the city sometime in the coming months.
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  #277  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2010, 12:46 AM
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What a shame all those demolitions are, uhg.
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  #278  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2010, 4:18 PM
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Coney Island's New Luna Park Celebrates One Millionth Visitor


Alberto Zamperla, standing near one of the more popular rides at Luna Park, called Air Race. (Kathleen Horan/WNYC)

August 28, 2010
By Kathleen Horan

Quote:
The lure of Coney Island endures. The area's new amusement park has been open for less than three months, but Luna Park celebrated its one millionth visitor Friday.

The designer of Luna Park's 19 rides, Alberto Zamperla -- owner of the Italian amusement company that bears his name -- says he's gratified by the response.

"We were able to deliver the product that we thought the people enjoy in New York and Brooklyn, and the fact that today we celebrate one million visitors proves that people like what we did," he says.

Zamperla says the success is party due to good weather -- the many sunny days this summer. The park is open every day until midnight through next weekend, and then weekends only through Columbus day.

Next season, Luna Park will expand by 90,000 feet and open five new rides -- including a couple of large roller coasters in an area, understandably, called the "Scream Zone."
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  #279  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2010, 7:04 PM
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1 million people in only 3 months / that's amazing.
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Old Posted Sep 4, 2010, 2:38 PM
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NYC4Life NYC4Life is offline
The Time To Build Is Now
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bronx, NYC
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This amusement park should become a permanent fixture and incorporated into the long-term redevelopment plans for Coney Island. It's already proven to be a big success in only its first year of operation.
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