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  #281  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2010, 6:16 AM
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Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post
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.
They have the lease for up to 10 years to operate the park, but it's a temporary park because the amusement area will be oriented more along the boardwalk. This was put in place to keep amusements active at Coney Island during the decade long rebuilding process, which will include bringing this area up to grade with the boardwalk. With the success so far, and likely to come next summer with the expansion to the Scream Zone, it's likely they will run the permanent park as well, which will be leaed for 25 years to a single operator. All of the outdoor amusement areas of Coney Island will be merged into one amusement park.
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  #282  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2010, 6:42 AM
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Coney Island's Redevelopment Rollercoaster
A Year After Rezoning, More Changes Coming to Coney Island


September 06, 2010


Quote:
It's been a year since the city approved an ambitious rezoning plan for Coney Island. In that time, a new amusement park has opened, a developer is poised to tear down at least four well-known buildings -- and nearly a dozen long-established boardwalk stores are being required to submit business plans or close up shop. WNYC's Kathleen Horan covers Coney Island and joined us to give us an update on the "People's Playground."


Kathleen, when the city first began pursuing the rezoning plan for Coney Island, we were in a very different economy. Do city officials still feel confident that developers still will want to come and build hotels and housing way out there?

Well, they're moving forward with the plan. They say that it will take some time -- not only for the economy to rebound but also to assess and potentially fix the infrastructure there that will make new buildings possible.

Lynn Kelly with the Coney Island Development Corporation says right now they're in the process of creating an Amended Drainage Plan or ADP. That's basically an x-ray of everything that occurs under the street -- all sewer lines, electrical lines, etc. Once they have the ADP, they'll know all the improvements that need to be done and any major development will follow. Kelly says the first phase of the infrastructure design and construction will cost the city about $137 million.

"We're encouraging development to come to Coney Island, and if a developer wants to start a project prior to the infrastructure being complete, we'll walk them through the steps that they need, but this is all being done so that we can complete the framework for full build out," Kelly says.


The results of the ADP will be complete sometime this month and Kelly says the infrastructure re-design will then commence. Next year, a shovel will hit the ground to begin the actual fixes that need to happen.

What's the status of the buildings on Surf Avenue that might be torn down?

They're owned by developer Joe Sitt of Thor Equities. He's bought a lot of the key parcels in Coney Island as well as other parts of the city. Last year he sold a major chunk of land on Coney Island to the city for more than $91 million.

Now he's seeking to tear down at least four buildings on the remaining land he owns. This has many people in the area angry because most of these buildings are over 100 years old. Opponents say they can be repurposed and kept for their historical significance. The Henderson building, for instance, is said to be the place where the Marx brothers launched their careers.

Why is Sitt seeking to tear these down?

Critics say it’s that he wants to deliver the land clean and empty of tenants. But a Thor Equites spokesman says that most opponents are anti-development and that the buildings have absolutely no historic value and that they're just ramshackle structures. Next year, Thor plans to build a one-story complex in place of some of the buildings, offering games, souvenirs and snacks -- much of what was there before.

What about Luna Park?

In just 100 days, 19 new rides were built for this summer season. Alberto Zamperla, the owner of the park, says it's been a great season, though he doesn't have numbers yet. Businesses around Luna Park have also reported an increase in business of about 25 percent.

Next year, Zamperla says the second phase of the amusement park will be called "the Scream Zone" with four new roller coasters: "Next year we want to invest more on the teenagers -- crazy wild, so we are going to have rides that are very extreme,” he says.

And roller coasters bring in more money because there are more people per ride and they’re quite popular.

I understand that Zamperla is requiring that about a dozen long-time businesses along the boardwalk submit plans for how they will spruce up their boardwalk stalls or lose their short-term leases?

Eleven businesses along the boardwalk, including Ruby's Bar, the "Shoot the Freak" attraction and many of the small eateries, called “grab joints,” have to submit a plan for how they'll update and possibly modernize their operations. Their contracts expire by October.

Writer and resident historian, Charles Denson who runs the Coney Island History Project says he hopes this isn't an attempt to sanitize these funky old spots.

"What makes Coney Island unique are these old-time businesses," Denson says, "and as far as the food, if people didn't like this food they would have been out of business overnight, they wouldn't have lasted a season. The reason they’ve been in business for decades is that people like that kind of food. It would be a shame to see the businesses go that make Coney Island unique."

Looks like there could be a lot of changes coming to Coney Island, and perhaps even a bit of a battle for the soul of the place. Thank you, Kathleen.
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  #283  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2010, 1:37 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...k-coney-island

Luna Park 2.0 Brings Zillions Back to Coney Island



By Matt Chaban
September 16, 2010

Quote:
Summer may have ended last week, but the folks at Coney Island wish it could continue all year long. Thanks to the new Luna Park and some of the best weather anyone can remember, they’re bragging about one of the strongest seasons since Steeplechase Park closed almost half a century ago.

“I think it’s the rezoning and the hubbub and people realizing Coney Island isn’t going to be totally torn down for condos and doctors offices,” said Dick Zigun, the sideshowman head of Coney Island USA and the boardwalk’s de facto mayor. “I think it’s people realizing Coney Island is here to stay and it’s just going to get better and better.”

Zigun said that the box office for his Coney Island Circus Sideshow had totally rebounded from last year, when it was off 50 percent because of the absence of Astroland and uncertainty about Coney’s future. This makes it one of his best years ever, in a tie with 2008 and surpassed only by 2007—what many people thought would be Coney Island’s last summer because of the imminent threat posed by developer Joe Sitt. (The city bought out most of his holdings in the area last year, following Coney’s rezoning.)

Carol Alpert, who runs the Cyclone and, before it closed, Astroland, said that she was also having one of her best years, “neck-and-neck with 2008, but not quite as good as 2007.” Like Zigun, she said sunshine played a huge role. “It’s very rare to get weather like this,” Alpert said. “There was hardly any rain this year. It was just beautiful every weekend.” Zigun said he couldn’t recall anything like it in his 30 years at Coney.

Still, both agreed that the new Luna—named for its predecessor that famously burned down in the ‘40s—was the linchpin of this year’s booming season. “It was definitely the biggest Memorial Day weekend I can ever remember,” Alpert said. It didn’t hurt that the mayor was there, as were $15 million worth of new rides from Italian firm Zamperla, which are being operated by Central Amusement International after winning a 10-year contract with the city to take over the 3.5-acre Astroland site.

In addition to its decades-old neighbors, Luna Park had a better year than expected, announcing its millionth rider on August 27—one Rogue Marek-Lewis, a 14-year-old from the Lower East Side who was enjoying the topsy turvy Air Race. “Our first season has been incredible, and we promise even more fun and thrills next year,” Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International, said at the time.

Part of the excitement surrounding next summer is the opening of the four-acre Scream Zone, which pushes Coney more than halfway toward the ultimate goal of a 12.5-acre amusement park along the boardwalk. The Scream Zone adds two new roller coasters, a reverse bungee ride called the Sling Shot that will launch riders 30-stories into the air, and a double-decker go-kart track. Alpert says she welcomes the competition. “It’s like going shoe shopping,” she said. “Do you want to go to the street with one store or a bunch?”

As for Zigun, he is as excited about what’s going on outside the park as within it, pointing across the street from his headquarters on Surf Avenue. There, a Russian biker bar (Bratva), a private party space (Chill) and a strip joint (The Foxy Club) have opened in the past year-and-a-half. “They’re so much better than the illegal furniture stores that used to be there,” Zigun said. “We’re turning from an illegal furniture store district into a nightclub district. And it’s only going to get better.”

The Coney Summer is not yet over, either, as the Cyclone makes its last runs this weekend and Luna Park remains open through October. See you on the boardwalk.
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  #284  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 10:02 PM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...ummer-46-years

Fun in the Sun: Revitalized Coney Has Its Best Summer in 46 Years



By Matt Chaban
September 21, 2010

Quote:
As the Observer first reported last week, it's been a blockbuster summer out at Coney Island. Both the Cyclone and the Coney Island Sideshow Circus had some of their best seasons ever, and now the city has announced that more people visited the boardwalk than any summer since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964 and nearly four times as many as came to Coney last year.

More than 14 million people went to the beach, and 400,000 attended the new Luna Park, which had some 1.7 million rides taken on its 19 new attractions at the 3.1-acre amusement park that replaced the old Astroland.

"In its inaugural season, Luna Park has not only confirmed that Coney Island remains a popular summertime destination, but now it is proving that the neighborhood can and will become a thriving year-round economic engine for the City," EDC President Seth Pinsky said in a release. "Over the next few years, as the City improves the area's infrastructure to allow for further development, we look forward to the creation of new, exciting thrills for visitors and, as importantly, even more employment opportunities for local residents."

Next summer, Luna Park will roll out four new rides, including two roller coasters, and it has plans to keep this year's thrills going with Nights of Horror at Luna Park, which runs from October 15 to October 31 and turns the park into a giant haunted house of sorts. Meanwhile, the city is expected to begin work on Steeplechase Plaza, a multi-use park at the base of the Parachute Jump. This is in addition to the $6.6 million it has already spent on infrastructure investments in the area to pave the way for the new Luna.

Echoing the sentiments of the Cyclone and Circus, Dennis Vourderis said that his family, which operates Deno's Wonderwheel Park, has had one of his best summers in 30 years of operation thanks to the new Luna Park and the city's revitalization efforts. Quoting JFK, he declared, "A rising tide raises all ships in the harbor." Not to mention all ships on the boardwalk.

Update: In case you needed further enticement to head out to the haunted boardwalk, EDC just sent along this terrifying flyer. Sandy and spooky:


_______________________________________________________


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...-rss&FEEDNAME=

Coney Island to host Halloween Parade

By RICH CALDER
September 21, 2010

Quote:
Get set for a freaky Coney Island Halloween this year.

City officials said today that the seaside amusement district – which they boasted is having its best summer season in 46 years – plans to rival Greenwich Village and host its own Halloween Parade next month down the streets of Surf Avenue.

The announcement of the parade, which will be paid for with money privately raised by local Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., coincided with additional news that Coney Island’s new Luna Park plans to expand its season by celebrating Halloween in grand style as well.

Beginning Oct. 15, the park – which has had more than 400,000 visitors already take part in 1.7 million rides during its inaugural season this summer – will debut it a new 1,500-square-foot interactive haunted maze.

"Nights of Horror at Luna Park" will run Fridays through Sundays until October 31. It will include costumed characters lurking throughout the park, lighting, sound effects, and scenery “guaranteed to give goose bumps to even the bravest amusement goers,” said Valerio Ferrari, CEO of Zamperla USA, the park’s operator.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who joked that he plans to “dress up as politician” this Halloween, said Luna Park’s decision to expand its season should finally give the “public a taste of all the potential Coney Island has” to someday become a “year-round destination.”

City officials said the 3.1-acre amusement park, which opened in May and features 19 rides, was the key catalyst for bringing Coney Island is best summer since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964. More than 14 million people visited Coney Island’s beach and Boardwalk this year– almost four times as many as in 2009.

“The inaugural season of Luna Park has been an overwhelming success, helping to trigger the most active summer in Coney Island in more than four decades ago,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “Coney Island is back, and this is just the beginning.”

Regarding the parade, Recchia said he plans to get school children heavily involved, offer costume contests and expects it to take place sometime during the last week of October.

Local boardwalk businesses credited Luna Park, along with fantastic weather, with helping drive up their profits this summer.

Dennis Vourderis, co-owner of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, said profits are up 17 percent over last summer, adding that this was the best summer his park has had since it opened in 1981.

Dianna Carlin, who runs Lola Staar Boutique, said her store’s profits are up 50 percent.

Carlin is one of roughly a dozen boardwalk businesses that are in the process of trying to convince Zamperla to renew their leases for next summer.

Ferrari said Zamperla is reviewing business-improvement plans it asked each of its boardwalk tenants to submit and will make a decision before the leases run out at the end of October.
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  #285  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2010, 1:17 AM
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http://amusingthezillion.com/2010/09...rson-building/

Coney Island Cat Is Last Tenant of Henderson Building


September 23, 2010: Demolition in Progress of the Surf Hotel in Henderson Building.
Photo © AnyMouseHero via Amusing the Zillion


September 24, 2010 by Tricia

Quote:
When Faber’s Fascination closed on Labor Day and began moving out, ATZ reported that the arcade was the last tenant of the soon-to-be demolished Henderson Building. Well, one more tenant- a grey cat – was discovered yesterday by a photographer who went there to document the demolition of the Surf Hotel on the building’s second floor. “The cat went under the gate of Shoot Out the Star into the Henderson Building when I came close,” says the anon photographer. A full plate of food and a full cup of water had been placed outside the building, probably by one of the cat lovers who care for Coney Island’s feral, stray and abandoned cat population.

As our regular readers know, ATZ loves a Coney Island cat story, preferably with photos or a video. For “I Love NYC Pets Month” in January, we wrote about the cats who live beneath the ramps to Coney Island’s Boardwalk and within its vacant buildings and an attempted cat rescue. We regularly feature Coney Island cats and kittens up for adoption. Now we seem to have hit upon an unfortunate new theme: cats displaced by redevelopment.

The appearance of the Henderson Building cat amid yesterday’s demolition of the Surf Hotel and the removal of the hotel’s original sign reminded us of our last day at Astroland. We’re not referring to the park’s last day of operation on Sept 7, 2008. We mean Astroland’s very last day, the day the lease expired and the property had to be vacated: January 31, 2009. On that day, we helped rescue a few signs from the water flume for the Coney Island History Project. By then there wasn’t much left of Astroland and we didn’t have the heart to take more than a few photos. One of the pix that we didn’t take: Two stray cats who had long found shelter in Astroland and were displaced by the teardown. As we stood outside the now demolished Feltman’s kitchen –home of the hot dog–and peered in at the original tile floor, the cats paced and waited. An Astroland worker came out and fed the Astro cats their last meal.
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  #286  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2010, 9:36 PM
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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...TATE/310039992

Revival risks Coney Island's soul
Luna Park's a hit, but locals fear city plans that may bring in chains at cost of character




By Annie Byrnes
October 3, 2010

Quote:
The verdict is in: New York's first effort in years to revitalize Coney Island has paid off. Luna Park has attracted more than 400,000 visitors so far in its first season, and the city has extended the amusement park's stint to the end of this month. More than 14 million people visited the Brooklyn boardwalk over the summer, the city says.

That first blush of success is welcome, but neighborhood business owners are still wary, since the city's long-range plan to rejuvenate the area remains a work in progress. Front and center among their concerns are suggestions that a wave of chain operations is headed their way.

Shaking things up with A-bombs
Media reports earlier this summer said Shake Shack and Atomic Wings are looking for sites in the area. Shop owners worry that national chains are interested, too. Boardwalk businesses, including nightclub and restaurant Cha Cha's, received letters in August from Central Amusement International, the operator of Luna Park, asking tenants to explain why they deserve to have their leases renewed.

“Dunkin' Donuts and all of those corporate chains are not Coney Island,” says John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, owner of Cha Cha's and nearby Beer Island. “The individuals and the characters are what make Coney Island what it is.”

In July 2009, after years of study, the city rezoned a 19-block area in an effort to breathe new life into Coney Island. It envisions a 27-acre amusement and entertainment district, with about 5,000 apartments and additional retail units.

After a lengthy standoff with landowner Joseph Sitt, head of developer Thor Equities, over the best way to redevelop the area, the city paid him $95.6 million for three local plots. The city is currently drafting a plan to replace the area's 40-year-old water mains and sewers. But the question of what will be built after revamped infrastructure is in place disturbs local business owners. They fear that the new development will change the character and historic value of the area.

“Coney Island has tremendous potential to become an economic engine and tourist destination,” says Juan Rivero of activist group Save Coney Island. “But it needs investment from either a developer or the city in a way that capitalizes on the history of Coney Island.”

If city officials thought that buying Mr. Sitt's property would silence their most vociferous critic, they were wrong. “If the city is truly interested in transforming Coney Island into a year-round destination, it must soon begin the difficult but necessary task of dramatically upgrading the area's long-inadequate infrastructure,” says a Thor Equities spokesman.

Thor's potential thunderbolt
The developer has expressed concern over the city's progress, which affects its ability to continue with its own projects. Thor still owns a significant piece of property abutting the entertainment district that it intends to develop itself—a plan that has locals worried about the future of historic buildings on the plot.

The city's Economic Development Corp. is trying to manage a balancing act: promoting the type of business that brings jobs and investment to the underserved neighborhood while maintaining the area's “Coney Island-ness.”

“We're building on what Coney Island is, but making it accessible for the 21st century,” says an EDC spokeswoman.

Some businesspeople say Luna Park's success gives them hope.

“I'm a little nervous. Change is scary,” says Maya Haddad, co-founder of souvenir store Coney Island Beach Shop. “But I'm very excited by what we've seen so far.”
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  #287  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2010, 9:59 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...-rss&FEEDNAME=

Boardwalk landlord seeks 'sit-down' restaurant

By Stephen Brown
October 4, 2010


Quote:
Buon appetito!

The Italian executive who runs Coney Island’s Luna Park — and controls the fate of honky-tonk Boardwalk businesses like Ruby’s Bar and Shoot the Freak — says he wants a fancy restaurant built there to class up the place.

“Why can’t you sit down with your newspaper and enjoy a coffee and the great view of the beach?” asked Valerio Ferrari, the CEO of Central Amusement International, the operator of Luna Park. “There needs to be a sit-down restaurant.”

Ferrari’s company’s deal with the city to run the former site of Astroland Park — along with acres of beachfront property ticketed for more amusements — includes the right to broker the leases for Boardwalk businesses between West 10th Street and Stillwell Avenue. That means he gets to say what stays and what goes once all of the leases are up on Dec. 31.

With that in mind, each of the 11 businesses operating there was asked to submit business plans justifying their existence to Central Amusement.

Ferrari said that he’d received plans from all the business owners, and said they would know their fates by the end of October. But for now, Ferrari was not revealing which ones would remain.

“Some will stay, some will go,” said Ferrari. “We’re exploring our options.”

Dianna Carlin, the owner of Lola Star boutique on the Boardwalk, said she had turned in a business plan for the ages.

“I want a three-dimensional Lola Star figure roller-skating on top of a disco ball over the entrance,” said Carlin. “And three hot pink chandeliers, including one made of gummi bears!”


She added that a sit-down restaurant isn’t a bad idea.

“I constantly have customers come to ask where they can go to sit down … and eat something that isn’t greasy and fried,” Carlin said.

The owner of a classy — and famous — sit-down restaurant nearby thinks the idea for fine dining could work, but he had some reservations.

“It’s not a bad idea, but they got to straighten up over there,” said Nino Russo, an owner of Gargiulo’s on W. 15th Street between Mermaid and Surf avenues.

The problem, Russo said, is that Boardwalk sunbathers aren’t often interested in a classy sit-down meal.

“I don’t think the people going to the beach are the type of people looking to spend a lot of money,” he said.

Plus, a new restaurant would mean that at least one of the businesses — the beloved Cha Cha’s and Paul’s Daughter among them — has to go.

Anthony Berlingieri, the owner of Shoot the Freak and Beer Island, bristled at being held in limbo.

“Just tell us whether we’re staying, or leaving,” Berlingieri said when he first received the letter.


But Carlin said the businesses’ uncertain fates were nothing new, given that they’ve had three different landlords — the developer Joe Sitt, the city, and now, Central Amusement — in the last three years.

“We’ve become so accustomed to this uncertainty,” said Carlin. “I think [Central Amusement] is trying to figure it out the best that they can.”
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  #288  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Now we look forward to the SCREAM ZONE...


http://amusingthezillion.com/2010/10...o-scream-zone/
Coney Island 2011: Zamperla Adding Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster to Scream Zone



Coney Island Bound: Zamperla's Motocoaster themed as Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster.
Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug




Zamperla's American Eagle Coaster aka The Volare will be the second coaster in Coney Island's Scream Zone.
Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug



October 4, 2010 by Tricia

Quote:
In a presentation at last week’s “What’s Next for Coney Island?” panel at CUNY, Valerio Ferrari, President and CEO of Zamperla USA/CAI gave the public its first look at renderings of the four rides set to open at Luna Park’s new Scream Zone in Spring 2011. Two of the rides are Zamperla coasters: a Steeplechase Cavalry-themed MotoCoaster and an American Eagle-themed Volare flying coaster.

Here’s the original commercial for Zamperla’s horseback “Pony Express” launch coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., where it opened on Memorial Day Weekend in 2008. The prototype- a MotoCoaster with motorcycle seats–opened at Darien Lake in upstate New York, also in 2008.

Video Link



Last February, ATZ posted “Steeplechase Express: Will Zamperla MotoCoaster Pony Up for Coney Island?” In reply to our query, Ferrari confided that they were then considering having the public decide which type of MotoCoaster seats–motorcycles or horses- would be used. As it turns out, there’s no need for a poll. The Coney Island theming is just the ticket for the new Luna Park. The crescent moons and pinwheel logos on Surf Avenue’s magnificent entrance pay homage to the whimsical gate of the original Luna Park. At the same time, the logo on the Spinning Mouse Coaster, renamed the Tickler in honor of Coney’s William F Mangels pioneering ride, is the Steeplechase Funny Face. A more manic version of the grinning face is also the logo for Scream Zone.

Inspired by Steeplechase Park’s signature horse race ride that made a circuit around the park, Zamperla is bringing in the cavalry! The Zamperla Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster takes its inspiration from the Steeplechase ride, but it does differ quite a bit in design. Most notably, the horses are part of a single train instead of racing against each other on multiple tracks. Another big difference: The ride’s seating design and restraint system was designed to comply with current-day safety standards.

According to Zamperla’s website:

The Pony Express comes with two trains, each accommodating up to 16 rides in an innovative pedestal seating design that maximizes safety, comfort and ride freedom. Using the time tested flywheel and clutch launch system, the PONY EXPRESS delivers a high energy ride with low energy costs. Seated two abreast on their own horses, 16 riders are treated to an exhilarating launch from 0–60 km/h (0-37 mph) in 2.5 seconds. The horses then race to the finish line along a 450 meter (1476 ft) track reaching heights of 14.7mt (48 ft.) through a breathtaking series of exciting 65 degree banked turns. Like the MotoCoaster, the PONY EXPRESS can be adapted to any theme. Let Zamperla design a custom layout and specialized theme for your venue.

Additional rides planned for the new Scream Zone include Zamperla’s Turbo Force and a SlingShot high thrill ride from Funtime. The newly re-themed American Eagle made its debut as the Volare, which means “to fly” in Italian, at Denver’s Elitch Gardens in 2002. Zamperla/CAI has a ten-year lease to operate amusements on the 6.9 acres the City bought for $95.6 million from Thor Equities. Zamperla’s Scream Zone will be located on “Parcels B & C, ” the City-owned property at Stillwell and the Boardwalk. The thrill park is expected to open in 2011.

Video Link
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  #289  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2010, 2:04 PM
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From jimvid, new additions for next year (Scream Zone)...
http://www.coneyisland.com/cgi-bin/y...num=1285897744

TURBO FORCE



SLINGSHOOT



AMERICAN EAGLE



STEEPLECHASE CALVARY COASTER

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  #290  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2010, 11:57 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...elFN8gPhPErVMN

City promising big improvements, possible new operator for Cyclone rollercoaster

By RICH CALDER
October 5, 2010


Quote:
For the first time in 35 years, the world-famous Cyclone rollercoaster is up for grabs.

And the Bloomberg administration is taking the opportunity to bring big improvements to the 83-year-old landmark on the Coney Island boardwalk, including longer hours, better lighting and other upgrades along its surrounding plaza.

The city today announced it’s planning to solicit proposals from amusement operators to potentially replace Carol Hill Albert, whose family has run the ride under a city lease since 1975.

Albert, who also operated fabled Astroland Park before closing its doors in 2008, said she still wants to remain operator of the Cyclone. But Albert said she agreed to let the city put the lease up for grabs on the open market because it is to only way to make necessary upgrades to keep her business afloat.

Albert, who said she plans to bid on the new lease, told the Post she “is losing” money under conditions of the existing lease that runs another five years.

This, she said, is despite the rollercoaster’s ridership dramatically increasing this summer after the new Luna Park opened next door on the old Astroland tract.

“For years, Astroland helped subsidize running the Cyclone, and without the park it became evident that we need to make changes like adding a food-and-drink stand to keep it afloat,” she said. “I was told by the Parks Department that the only way that could happen is through a new lease” that would be open to anyone to bid on.

And now she’s rolling the dice.

Zamperla USA, which operates Luna Park, could potentially offer Albert stiff competition.

Both Zamperla and the city declined to discuss such a possibility.


Valerio Ferrari, president of Zamperla USA issued a statement saying, "the Cyclone is a New York City icon, known and loved throughout the world for generations. Luna Park is proud to call the Cyclone our neighbor, and we fully support any effort that will enhance this landmark and contribute to the neighborhood's revitalization."

The “request for proposals” that the city intends to distribute within weeks calls for the ride taking on longer hours and an extended season. It also calls for an improved marketing plan, upgrades to area lighting and fencing, a betting ticketing systems, a new entrance on W. 10th Street and possibly adding a merchandise and snack bar.

Andrew Brent, a city spokesman, said the Cyclone, like the rest of Coney Island, “is coming off its busiest summer in decades” and the city thinks the ride “can play an even larger role in the area’s revival than it already has."
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2010, 7:59 PM
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Cool

WOW...
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  #292  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2010, 5:22 AM
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http://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20100901_not2.html

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The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Coney Island Steeplechase Plaza will not have a significant adverse environmental impact.

The action involves coordination between the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC DPR) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to construct a new Steeplechase Plaza to include plaza areas connecting to the Boardwalk, a planted area with seating called "Luna Forest," and a pavilion containing the restored B&B Carousell and a café with outdoor seating.

The main plaza and pavilion areas would be at the level of the Boardwalk and the open space would lower in grade through a combination of gently sloped ground surface, steps, and ramps to meet the elevation of the mapped public access corridors along the site's east and west frontages.

The Luna Forest portion of the open space would be located adjacent to KeySpan Park, below the level of the main plaza, and would consist of stadium seating steps, benches, and tree coverage. The main portion of the carousel pavilion would be a round structure, 32 feet tall to the top of a cupola, with a one-story wing along the north and west frontage. The wing would contain the café, restrooms, and a function room and would have a green roof.

The area beneath the Parachute Jump would become a gateway to the new Steeplechase Plaza but the project does not include making the long-dormant Parachute Jump operational. A water feature and signage would be located near the Boardwalk between the Parachute Jump and the B&B Carousell.

The new Steeplechase Plaza would enhance the setting of the historic Parachute Jump structure and would create connections from the Boardwalk to anticipated future development.

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Old Posted Oct 9, 2010, 10:34 PM
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I really just do not like this park. I ten years this going to be just like it was before they renovated: run-down and overall crappy. They need to change all of Coney Island for this to be nice (aka not be run by the Russian mafia).
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 1:42 AM
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I really just do not like this park. I ten years this going to be just like it was before they renovated: run-down and overall crappy. They need to change all of Coney Island for this to be nice (aka not be run by the Russian mafia).
I have no idea what you are talking about. What park? What can you possibly see ten years from now that will be run-down?
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 8:05 PM
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(aka not be run by the Russian mafia).
Come on.....

I don’t think you realize how good this is for the area and the city. This success will be here to stay.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 8:48 PM
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I have no idea what you are talking about. What park? What can you possibly see ten years from now that will be run-down?
Luna Park.... What other park could I possibly be talking about besides Luna Park?????? Are you paying attention to your own posts? I'm saying it really isn't that much better than what is was before and it is surrounded by sleazy stores and restaurants.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 9:51 PM
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Luna Park.... What other park could I possibly be talking about besides Luna Park?????? Are you paying attention to your own posts? I'm saying it really isn't that much better than what is was before and it is surrounded by sleazy stores and restaurants.
Well, I try to provide enough information and details about what is going on, but it does very little to help if people don't bother to read or simply cannot comprehend.

This is a redevelopment of the entire area. After decades of gradually being "erased", all of the old buildings are going to be replaced outright. (In fact, its one of the major reasons people who are against it are against it). The rezoning has been put in place. Everything will be new - right down to the infrastructure. For you to say everything is going to be "run-down and overall crappy" shows a level of ignorance on the topic that would best be kept to yourself.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 10:12 PM
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Well, I try to provide enough information and details about what is going on, but it does very little to help if people don't bother to read or simply cannot comprehend.

This is a redevelopment of the entire area. After decades of gradually being "erased", all of the old buildings are going to be replaced outright. (In fact, its one of the major reasons people who are against it are against it). The rezoning has been put in place. Everything will be new - right down to the infrastructure. For you to say everything is going to be "run-down and overall crappy" shows a level of ignorance on the topic that would best be kept to yourself.
I said the area surrounding Luna Park is run-down and overall crappy. As I have been trying to say Luna Park might be nice for a while but in ten years or so it will be no different then Astroland the park it replaced. Do you know the difference between Luna Park and Coney Island?
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2010, 10:16 PM
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I said the area surrounding Luna Park is run-down and overall crappy. As I have been trying to say Luna Park might be nice for a while but in ten years or so it will be no different then Astroland the park it replaced. Do you know the difference between Luna Park and Coney Island?
Again, your ignorance shows in abundance, and clearly you should stop posting. If you bothered to read - at all - you would know that Luna Park is the temporary amusement park that was set up to operate at most for 10 years, likely not lasting even that long. So right off, your statements are absurd. Furthermore, the "area surrounding Luna Park " is EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I refer to the redevelopment of Coney Island. Do yourself - and the rest of us - a favor, and read this thread before you bother to post anything else in it.
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2010, 12:34 AM
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It's the beginning of the end for the last remaining old buildings in the amusement district...

http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...s-coney-island
Curtains in Coney Island



By Emily Geminder
October 12, 2010

Quote:
The long-murmured auguries of demolition on Surf Avenue had all but taken on the air of ritual, each new summer washing up like a predictable reprise—the last last annual send-off of Coney Island As We Knew It.

But the long, protracted standoff between developer Joe Sitt and city officials finally came to an end last year, and soon after, Mr. Sitt announced his intentions for the avenue: "By Memorial Day 2011, all of our parcels along Surf Avenue are scheduled to be activated with family-friendly games, food, shopping and other activities that visitors to, and residents of, Coney are clamoring for."

In the balance hang four buildings that have managed to survive the island's tumultuous last century, through its feverish bouts of boom and destruction, its apocalyptic fires and tyrannical development schemes. One of those four, the former Henderson's Music Hall, which hosted vaudeville acts like Sophie Tucker and Al Jolson and served as a launching pad for the careers of the Marx Brothers, appears slated to be demolished as early as this week.

The Municipal Arts Society, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, among others, have rallied to save the Surf Avenue sites, so far to no avail.

"Certainly, a great deal of Coney Island's historic fabric has been lost over time," wrote the Municipal Arts Society in a letter to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. "[B]ut some historic buildings, rides, and other structures from Coney Island's heyday do remain. With so little left, the preservation of the existing historic resources becomes all the more important."

If words like "parcels" and "to be activated" didn't sufficiently delineate a worldview at odds with the preservationist spirit, however, Mr. Sitt went on to call the buildings standing in his way "decaying and outdated infrastructure." Attached came renderings of their proposed replacements: generic strip malls plastered with fast-food signs.

After his first music hall burned up in the Bowery fire of 1899, Fred Henderson enlisted the help of architect John McElfatrick, designer of Broadway theaters like Oscar Hammerstein's Olympia, a "multiple-theater complex so colossal as to be its own center of gravity." The resulting brick structure, with its corniced Italianate facade, managed to survive the island's next major fire, in 1903, relatively intact.

Henderson booked his acts through the national vaudeville chain Keith-Albee, though he went on to launch a vaudeville circuit of his own and later combined interests with Keith-Albee. The chain later became motion picture studio RKO.

By the 1920s, vaudeville had stopped filling balconies, Fred Henderson headed west, and in moved Lillie Santangelo's World in Wax Museum. The World in Wax specialized not in the simulacra of the famous or the sublime but in particularly gruesome murders—bathtub dismemberments, screwdriver killers, gagged nurses—and freakish births. Santangelo, who Coney Island Mayor Dick Zigun described as "Grandma Moses on LSD," ran the museum until 1984.

"Every one of these buildings is just horrible, rundown relics with nothing exciting about them," Joe Sitt told NY1 in May. "I hate to say it, but the great buildings of Coney Island disappeared 80 years ago."

It's true that the Henderson Building has seen better days. Work crews have pried out the window frames, dismembered its blinking Faber's Fascination sign (the last remaining example of the bare-bulb incandescence emblematic of Coney Island since the original Luna Park, according to historian Charles Denson).


But really the demise of the Henderson Building goes back a ways before. The building's tenants—the Velocity Nightclub, for instance—were forced out when Mr. Sitt's Thor Equities bought the building.

It's an old story of slow-but-sure demolition: buy up, neglect, condemn.

The Henderson Building sits on a site recently rezoned by the city for high-rise development. In Mr. Sitt's original plans for the area, he conjured Vegas-glittery hotels, entertainment complexes and 40-story condos. The city's vision for Coney Island, meanwhile, is years away, and the role private development will play is still unknown.

Whatever happens, the days when Coney Island served as a kind of Petri dish for worlds of engineered entertainment are long gone, when swellingly confident schemers like Fred Henderson could superimpose any single fantasy across the shoreline.

The Coney Island we have instead is something different, something worked over by the incalculable exertions of time. It's a theme park with no theme—none, at least, that any two people could agree on.

Yet we still go there to experience something the city is otherwise slow to offer: that sense of jolting into other worlds. It's not the safe, cordoned-off past of a museum or a cobblestoned European city, but the curious disjuncture of inhabiting many times at once, and we never quite know, in all that, where and how our own time will become visible to us.
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