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Coney Island (Luna Park / Deno's) Development Discussion Thread

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Hey everybody!


This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about all the news on Coney Island's Development, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion.



Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!







May 5th, 2005 - Coney Island Redevelopment Proposal - SEE BELOW!

July 20th, 2005 - Historic B&B Carousell up for auction

September 20th, 2005 - Joe Sitt's vision for Coney Island



November 29th, 2006 - Astroland to close after the 2007 season



November 8th, 2007 - NYC unveils their vision for Coney Island



November 18th, 2008 - Municipal Arts Society unveils their vision for Coney Island

December 31st, 2008 - Astroland rides rumored to be going to Sydney Australia




November 11th, 2009 - NYC to buy seven acres of Coney Island for $95.6 Million



Jan 21st, 2010 - Zamperla USA chosen as park operator

Feb 1st, 2010 - New park to be called 'Luna park'

Feb 16th, 2010 - Park to have 23 New Rides, Including New Roller Coasters, a Human Sling Shot and Go-Karts

Feb 29th, 2010 - Ringling Brothers Circus returns to Coney Island

April 19th, 2010 - Coney Island Cyclone gets a Twitter account!

May 12th, 2010 - Judge sides with the city in redevelopment case

May 12th, 2010 - New construction photos

May 19th, 2010 - Complete list of rides released

June 23rd, 2010 - Water Slide Beach opening near Steeplechase Pier

September 21st, 2010 - Luna Park extends season to Halloween

November 2nd, 2010 - Zamperla decides which business' will stay or go



January 20th, 2011 - Names announced for Scream Zone coasters

January 21st, 2011 - Zamperla to take over operation of the Cyclone!

March 10th, 2011 - Deal reached with Coney Island 8 for lease extensions

April 16th, 2011 - Scream Zone construction

November 10th, 2011 - B&B Carousell restoration, record crowds & expansions



February 2nd, 2012 - GCI to reprofile Cyclone

February 15th, 2012 - Coney Island hiring for the 2012 Summer season

April 5th, 2012 - 280 feet of Cyclone's track replaced during offseason

September 17th, 2012 - Wonder Wheel boosters oppose new observation tower

November 11th, 2012 - Coney Island after Hurricane Sandy

November 29th, 2012 - Zamperla wins rights to light up the Parachute Jump

December 19th, 2012 - Coney Island businesses set speedy recovery plan



January 20th, 2013 - Water Mania attraction being added to Coney Island

May 26th, 2013 - Coney Island Zamperla lease extended thru 2027!

May 27th, 2013 - Water Mania splash battle/teacups mashup ride added!

June 10th, 2013 - Coney Island Thunderbolt to be "Reborn"

June 17th, 2013 - New Coney Island Thunderbolt layout revealed!

July 4th, 2013 - Parts of Iconic Astrotower are being removed

August 14th, 2013 - Boy escapes from and jumps from Sea Serpent coaster at Deno's

December 19th, 2013 - NYC extends Luna Park lease until 2027, Wonder Wheel Park leases also expected to be renewed



February 20th, 2014 - Coney Island Cyclone Retracking Construction Update!

February 25th, 2014 - Thunderbolt lift hill & trains are being assembled!

March 10th, 2014 - Thunderbolt ground breaking ceremony occurs

May 20th, 2014 - Thunderbolt track work completed

June 15th, 2014 - Thunderbolt opens



December 14, 2015: Thunderbolt, Wonder Wheel and B&B Carousell to be open free of charge New Year's Eve/Day



August 27th, 2016 - mini-golf course (and slick track) built next to ScreamZone



February 7th, 2016 - NYC opening up a few more parcels for amusements



August 23rd, 2018 - Log flume, zip-line, ropes course & more announced!



February 25th, 2019 - Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park owner Lula Vourderis passes away



March 2nd, 2020 - New concept art released! Coaster, log flume & more!

December 21st, 2020 - Phoenix coaster announced for Phoenix at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park!


Original Post:



Here is a link to the article:


http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/bro ... c-swapbox1



Shiny, new Coney Island coming soon


May 4, 2005


Coney Island will join the city's legions of all that glitters if draft plans for massive renovations get a final go ahead.


Officials from the Coney Island Development Corporation Tuesday night unveiled plans to rejuvenate the iconic seaside destination by revamping its amusement park, boardwalk and aquarium and adding stores, restaurants, movie theaters and arcades.


Artist's renderings of Surf Avenue transform the crumbling roadway from a drab and dumpy highway to a bustling strip draped with flashing neon signs, polished pedestrian walkways and finely manicured landscaping.


The boardwalk is slated for a luxury spa, boutiques and open-air sidewalk cafes. The aquarium is in line for a makeover along with the Children's Restaurant. Plans for a multicultural center are also in the works.


Developers hope the renovation plan, which is still a work in progress slated to be finalized this summer, will help the area evolve from a summer recreation site to a hub of year-round entertainment.


Though some have aired concerns the widespread overhaul could erase the historic flavor of Coney Island, beloved for its grit, grease and oddities, developers say they are keeping neighborhood authenticity in mind.


Renovation plans cover the areas between Neptune Avenue and the ocean and span from W. 37th Street to W. Fifth.


The Coney Island Development Corporation is a 13-member board formed in 2003. The group is comprised of city officials, local and Brooklyn-wide and business and community leaders.


Members of the group, charged with spearheading plans to revitalize the neighborhood, serve two-year terms.


What I find interesting is some of the artists renderings:


Ahh, so they are turning Coney Island into Freemont Street! =)


Is it just me or have they drawn what looks like an Invertigo and a B&M??!?!


One more "After"


One more "Before"


And another "After"


Another "Before"


Here is the "Before" view.


An overall map of Coney Island

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Hmm looks almost exactly like what they want to do with the Fair Park area here in Dallas. Adding 2 new coasters (wood and steel) and turn it into more of a retail money maker than rundown ghetto area it is. As long as they don't screw up the Parachute Tower, Wonder Wheel, Cyclone or Nathan's .. anything is fine with me.

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Keep in mind a proposal like this is probably going to spend an eternity in the bueracratic hell that is the New York State legislature. God help you if you can accomplish ANYTHING with this bickering government of ours.


It's still a very intriguing idea though. Even a retail moneymaker beats the hell out of a ghetto in my view.

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It's good that they are planning to revamp Coney Island. I remeber going there a few years ago, and it was really sad what they had done to the place. Trash everywhere, and it was really all crappy and junk. Let's hope they do put in the Invertigo and B&M!

---Brent 8)

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  • 2 months later...



Offers pouring in for Coney Island's last working carousel could have the carved, wooden horses galloping far from their Brooklyn home.

The famed B&B Carousell goes on the auction block Aug. 10 and is expected to fetch more than $2 million, auctioneer Arlan Ettinger said. "Bidders from Nebraska and Colorado expressed the desire to have a beautiful carousel on their village greens. It's a charming thing," Ettinger said.


The Coney Island institution has attracted generations of riders to its 50 horses and two chariots on Surf Ave. near W. 12th St.


But the auctioneer - hired by owner James McCullough - promised that if the city or a preservation group "upped the ante to a fair level," he would cancel the auction to ensure the 93-year-old ride stays in Brooklyn.


"Let someone step up and do the right thing, and we don't have to worry about it going to Wyoming or Nebraska or Colorado," he said.


Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Janel Patterson said the city would take any "reasonable steps" to acquire the landmark, including bidding for it.


"The city believes that the carousel should remain in Coney Island and hopes the owner will do the right thing," Patterson said.


Preserving the ride is part of the city's sweeping plan to revive Coney Island, which includes expanding the New York Aquarium and bringing new stores and thrill rides.


A wealthy New Yorker already has bid over the minimum $1 million for the merry-go-round, Ettinger said. That bid guaranteed that the ride will remain whole, rather than be sold off horse by horse. He wouldn't reveal anything else about the bidder except that he promised to keep the ride in Brooklyn if he won - but not necessarily Coney Island.


The majestic rides were once commonplace in Coney Island - the birthplace of the amusement park - but Ettinger believes that the B&B Carousell is possibly the last available for sale.


There are about 100 others, but most are protected by preservationist groups, he said.


"This is likely to be the last antique carousel sold in our lifetime," Ettinger said. "The fact that it's the last surviving carousel from Coney Island is a double whammy."

What is it with NEBRASKA getting all this stuff?!?!?


--Robb "I'm telling 'ya, that state is going to be the theme park capital someday!" Alvey

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I remember riding one years ago in either '98 or '99 that had rings. It was the one that was almost right across the street from the Cyclone. Is this the same one they are talking about?



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  • 1 month later...




Joe Sitt is pacing the Coney Island Boardwalk.



“Imagine something like the Bellagio hotel right now—just stop and see it,” he says, sweeping his hand in a long, slow arc over his head. “The lights. The action. The vitality. The people. We wanna evoke the same feeling you get when you’re in Vegas. It’s exciting. It’s illuminated. It’s sexy.”



Behind him is an aggressively down-market stretch of fast-food stands, dingy arcades, and cheap souvenir shops that have as much in common with the Bellagio as does a three-card-monte table. But when this wiry, frenetic 41-year-old looks at the seediness, he sees an opportunity to do something big. And he can—because all those ramshackle properties belong to him.



Over the past few years, Sitt’s real-estate company, Thor Equities, has quietly spent nearly $100 million buying up a huge swath of Coney Island from multiple owners, painstakingly overtaking perhaps twelve acres of land along the boardwalk, mostly between KeySpan Park, home of the Cyclones, and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Sitt, a little-known Manhattan mogul who’s made his fortune building inner-city shopping malls across the country, now lays claim to Coney’s prime turf, its real-estate trophy. It’s no surprise, then, that Sitt’s mysterious plans have stirred plenty of rumors among Coney locals, who worry he’s plotting to develop a shopping mall or a Wal-Mart on their hallowed grounds.



But Sitt’s scheme for reviving the world’s once-premier amusement park is far more ambitious than the whispers suggest. He plans to build a glittering resort paradise right next to the Coney Island boardwalk—a retail and entertainment colossus every bit as outrageous and flamboyant as the Bahamas’ Atlantis. The plan includes megaplexes. An indoor water park. A 500-room, four-star hotel—four stars, in Coney Island!—and, at the center of it all, an enormous, psychedelic carousel laced with visual cues to a Coney Island that Timothy Leary could have dreamed up. Equally spectacular, Sitt hopes, will be a blimp that will take off from the complex’s roof, carrying tourists on joyrides over the city as it flashes the resort’s name in giant technicolor letters: THE BOARDWALK AT CONEY ISLAND. “The dirigible will leave every ten minutes,” Sitt says, jabbing his finger excitedly toward the sky. “On an ongoing basis. Another. Another. Another. Lifting off and taking people on a tour, spreading the message that this is the place to be.” The total price tag: $1 billion, which Sitt hopes to raise from private investors. Sitt has seen Coney Island’s future, and it looks like Vegas—turned up a few notches.


Click on the above link to read the rest of the article.....

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As much as I disliked the Coney Island environment when I went this past summer, I would hate to see it go away. That is something that makes Coney Island so unique, bathrooms inside trailers that cost 25 cents to use, the constant (not so constant now) sound of Cyclone barrelling through its course, and the screams heard from people who don't expect the surprise on Deno's Wheel. This would turn the historic Coney Island area into a huge joke, sure it would probably bring in a ton of money in the long run and would give the area a much needed revamping, but c'mon, you can't touch it. It's a landmark, when people hear of Coney Island, they immediately think of the Cyclone, Deno's Wheel, Nathan's, and all the other great stuff to be had. The area could use a little touchup, but this is purely out of line.

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It's all well and good to state the old "it's untouchable, the way it is makes it good" viewpoint, but you know things need to develop over time and progress has to be made.


The general feeling I've built up about the Coney Island of today, via numerous articles, stories and reports etc, is that the place isn't in the best state it could be in, that it's kind of dying. Now, you could leave it be with its "perfect, untouchable" charm and watch it gradually die, or you could accept progress and witness it change into something better - better due to securing its future.


Blackpool (the town overall) has over the past few decades become tired, worn out and drifting toward undesirable demise, but in recent years the place has been gradually spruced up and enlivened, in a way that admittidly removes some old charm and character, but rather changes it into a new equally unique, exciting fresh charm and character. It's becoming fashionable again, things are gradually getting better, and the Pleasure Beach (you knew I'd get there!) is no exception. Progress simply has to happen, or things become tired and can die out.


I understand the feelings against such progress, I feel them myself sometimes. However, amusement parks and their surroundings (and entertainment complexes as a whole) have NEVER stayed the same over time. People get pissed off with ride closures, modifications or removal, and cosmetic changes at BPB. Now on a simple level, that's understandable - people have individual tastes and ofcourse don't like something they love (in this case a ride or area theme/style), being changed in a way they don't like. However, getting mentally stuck in the present isn't good - amusement parks (etc.) have ALWAYS changed - people today get annoyed at the Whip closing, with an uncertain future. However, the Whip itself whill have originally replaced another ride or attraction. The Grand National, which we're probably all in agreeance is one of the world's best classic coasters, itself replaced a classic Scenic Railway coaster. Rollercoaster replaced the classic side-friction Velvet Coaster, and so on - part of what makes the very charm and character of these places is the change and progress they undergo through time.


Who would prefer a BPB pre the classic loved rides present today, instead having such delights as a slow exhausting Bicycle Railway, a Switchback coaster that goes one way for a short dull ride along a beach, gypsy tents cointaining genuine gypsy dwellers; the place their home, and all this amidst sand dunes and uneven railway-sleeper paths, sand blowing about, not much to do.. who would prefer that to the Pleasure Beach of today?


Likewise, who would prefer the Coney Island pre-Cyclone, Thunderbolt (not quite valid today, but its inclusion is logical to my point), Deno's Wonderwheel, even Steeplechase and Luna Parks, etc.. who would prefer the place pre that, to the Coney Island of ok, maybe a bit before today due to its decline - perhaps the more modern Coney Island in the days of the three big thrillers - Thunderbolt, Tornado and ofcourse Cyclone, and their respective attraction surroundings, etc? - which would you prefer.. bearing in mind that that "modern" state was due to progression over time, keeping a vibrant place - a world of its own, alive in a wider world of changing tastes.


Now, the propsed redevelopment isn't exactly about rides in an amusement park, as I mooted earlier, but the ethos is the same, from which the world of amusement isn't detatched.


Sometimes change; progress is really for the better - better than something much revered and loved, irreversibly dying away.


"Alarm bells would start to ring in my mind" only at the mention of proposals to change or remove Coney's existing famed rides, and I didn't read any hint of that in the article.


I've not been to New York at all myself so Coney Island isn't something I've personally experienced, but I know enough about it and have seen enough of it in adequate ways to have a stance on it. Make of my stance what you will..

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