It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

What great news!

Coney Island is slowly but surely coming back around after a dismal past few years at the mercy of Thor Equities, who were more than a little miffed that their efforts to turn Coney into a big ol' high-rise condo mega mall had failed so dramatically. They forced many amusement owners out including at long last Astroland, whose lease had been hanging by a thread for several years. They set up perfunctory stabs at amusements -- a "waterslide" consisting of an inflatable slide with a hose on the top, god bless 'em -- and put up an open-air flea market that couldn't even conjure up much biz. And gee, it looked for all the world like Thor wanted to prove that amusements no longer worked in Coney so bring on the condos already.

However, and I'm not gonna spend much time on details here, the City of New York got into it and now it's got a whole bunch of Thor's land which it'll really use for amusements this year. It's already been announced that the Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla will be in charge of the largest chunk of the amusement zone. Now they've announced a $30 million project including two amusement parks, one of which will have at least 19 rides ready by Memorial Day.

The first park will be called Luna Park at Coney Island, a nod to the most spectacular amusement park in Coney's history (Dreamland was more beautiful, but Luna had fantastic drama. And the crowds.) Judging from the concept art, someone in the office has an eye, at least, for history. (Then again, it's all conceptual; the park could very well end up looking nothing like that and I know it.)

The second park will open by 2011 and be called "Scream Zone at Coney Island" and honestly that whole thing about concepts that change and stuff? Yeah, I hope it applies to that park name as well. It needs something better. One that waterslide parks haven't already used for their high slides or whatever.

Still, I'll go regardless of its name. Zamperla's got a lot of nice flat rides and the other concessionaires who'll be going in will hopefully provide more. I don't need a new bigtime roller coaster at Coney just yet (they're promised for the Scream Zone) but seeing as how Zamperla has a horse-themed coaster in its portfolio, I just know they'll put in a Steeplechase style ride. It was also announced that the iconic Astroland tower, threatened when Astroland closed in 2008, will be refurbished and brought back to service.

This is all really good news for Coney Island and I can't wait to go catch a Cyclones game there this summer.

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