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Coney Island (Luna Park) Development Discussion Thread


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Certainly a bit worrying. Without knowing the numbers it's hard to judge whether it's truly fair or not. Especially on an eight year lease in NYC.

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I don't think it matters what the numbers are. I can't imagine any scenario in which a 400% increase in rent (or even 50%) is "fair." I get upset with my landlord when they try to raise my rent more than 3%.

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^But over eight years in NYC?! I mean, there's some SKETCHY stuff that goes on, what if they were paying like $600 a month?

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All I really can say is, I am grateful for what Zamperla has brought the area. However, local businesses are what make the area more unique. If all of these shops were rebranded and stripped of that, it would be a shame. The Coney Island Circus Sideshow is one of my fav things down there. I know it is not affected by these increases, just an example of the charm of a local business.

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I've stopped in the Lola Star boutique exactly once, and that was to pick up some sunscreen on a bright sunny day.

 

That small tube of sunscreen, probably no more than 3 ounces, was $13.50.

 

I'm not saying that a rent increase of that size is okay at all, but if they're gone from the boardwalk, I'm not going to shed tears over it.

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I'm not proposing a rent freeze, but if NYC is not charging Zamperla a 400% rent increase it seems out of line that Zamperla would charge that much. Then again, we have no idea what went on in the original negotiations between Zamperla and the vendors. It may have been made clear to vendors years ago that this would happen with the next lease.

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Remember, people, that Walgreens will happily pay $1 million per month in rent to save $1K in subsidy pay. I'm not surprised at all that Zamperla would rather have a mega-pharmacy on their property than an independent. Crappy? For sure. Unreasonable? Definitely. Will all local businesses disappear in favor of profit margins? Of course! Welcome to NYC!

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Deno's Wonder Wheel Park appears to have purchased the land where some independent rides such as Saturn 6, Polar Express, Ghost Hole and Bumper Cars ran.

View of old rides

 

 

https://www.brooklynpaper.com/denos-wonder-wheel-owners-expanding-into-dilapidated-amusement-park/

 

Deno’s Wonder Wheel owners expanding into dilapidated amusement park

Posted on January 6, 2020 Jessica Parks

 

The owners of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park have purchased a run-down corner of Coney Island’s amusement district, and the thrill purveyors are currently planning on how to reinvigorate the area with new attractions — without stepping on any toes.

 

“We are seeing what will be the best fit,” said Deno “DJ” Vourderis. “Something that will complement our neighbors and not compete with them.”

 

The lot along W. 12th Street between Bowery Street and the Wonder Wheel will roughly double the size of Vourderis’s adult section of the amusement park and is slated to open during the 2021 season.

 

The parcel was formerly operated by the aptly named 12th Street Amusement, which shuttered roughly two years ago, leaving the rides there to rot, according to Vourderis, who said that, while many of the attraction have been destroyed, he’ll try to salvage what he can.

 

“We will save whatever we can to repurpose into our existing park,” Vourderis said. “But a lot of it has to go after we inspected them we saw a lot was far too gone.”

 

The Wonder Wheel premiered as Coney Island’s then tallest attraction in 1920, and was renamed “Deno’s” after Deno Vourderis’s grandfather, also Deno Vourderis, purchased the Wonder Wheel, along with the Spook-a-Rama ride in 1983.

 

The acquisition comes amid the Wonder Wheel’s 100th anniversary, which Vourderis will celebrate with special events all year long, including a big bash on Memorial Day Weekend — the planning of which supersedes laying out their expanded amusement park, according to the new owner.

 

“We have some ideas, but we are still working on it,” said DJ Vourderis. ”Right now we are focusing on the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel and then we will see what bites.”

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The area labeled "Indy rides" on this map.

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Deno's Wonder Wheel has always been one of the best and brightest features of NYC's Coney Island.  And the Vourderis family who purchased it in 1983 has kept up its worthy reputation of 'highlight of the Ferris Wheel World.'  (It's worth the trip to Coney Island even you only have time to take a whirl on one of its 'swinging cars!'  The sensation is hard to describe....let's just say, it takes your stomach places where it has rarely been before! (Admittedly, I no doubt looked a LOT LESS GREEN when I rode it back in university years!!)

I'm really excited to see what Deno can do with that spooky dilapidated little plot.  Wishing them soooo much luck at finding developers with imagination!  Hope we see some progress (legit plans at least) for the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel!

As for the ZAMPERLA situation (rent increases), let's just say that NYC has the craziest, most confusing rent history.  Local political offices have to fight for their neighborhoods to sustain the places that make each living area historically unique (and keep our Mom&Pop shops).  Living prices go from Rent Controlled (those apts could be crazily low rent homes..ie, as Elissa said, "the 600/mo units."  Then comes Rent Stabilized which allows prices to be raised at a "sorta reasonable amt" every one or two years.  (If you've lived in that bldg much of your life tho, your rent can rise slowly but surely close to Market Price (not cheap!). And then there are rental buildings that rent ALL UNITS at Market Price (HIGH!). Commercial rent prices are fast dooming what makes the city "NY-ish!"

Anyway, would like to hear some Theme Park fans' thoughts on the choice of ZAMPERLA to rebuild Coney Island, and if you think they did a good job.....OR are there other companies that you suspect might have taken an even bolder direction.  (Seeing some of the inspired, visionary rides offered at many theme parks around the U.S. & world, I sometimes wonder if Zamperla took its innovations far enough (in terms of exciting, imaginative rides - as opposed to The Thunderbolt dud .)  I AM taking into account the limited space they had to work with...but am still left yearning for just a bit more 'magic and ingenuity.').   Thanks for any thoughts you'd like to share!

 

Alice  P.S.  Anyone new to NY's Coney Island may be fascinated to see videos of this park over its many many many transitions!  Some of the old rides looked amazing.  And, of course, there was Steeplechase, the Funny Place (in a class all by itself!)

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Alice  P.S.  Anyone new to NY's Coney Island may be fascinated to see videos of this park over its many many many transitions!  Some of the old rides looked amazing.  And, of course, there was Steeplechase, the Funny Place (in a class all by itself!)

 

I first heard of Steeplechase Park and Funny Place when I was high school in the 1980s. I was instantly fasicnated with the place, to the point that whenever I made new friends in high school I questioned their parents and would ask them to share whatever memories they had of the place. The thought of llittle people dressed as clowns walking around with "shock sticks" is just fascinating to me.

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Alice  P.S.  Anyone new to NY's Coney Island may be fascinated to see videos of this park over its many many many transitions!  Some of the old rides looked amazing.  And, of course, there was Steeplechase, the Funny Place (in a class all by itself!)

 

I first heard of Steeplechase Park and Funny Place when I was high school in the 1980s. I was instantly fasicnated with the place, to the point that whenever I made new friends in high school I questioned their parents and would ask them to share whatever memories they had of the place. The thought of llittle people dressed as clowns walking around with "shock sticks" is just fascinating to me.

 

LARRY, great to hear from another Steeplechase, the Funny Place, fan.  This amazing 'hall of attractions' closed in 1964, so I had only a coupla visits as a small child.  But I will never forget it!  You entered this HUGE hall - a palace of wood and glass - filled with rides we'll probably never see again. I remember my heart beating out of my chest with excitement!  And, yes, they DID have little people dressed as clowns (the "Cast" ) with sticks that blew air up women's skirts...and shockers for men! There was a slightly scary aura to Coney Island, then.  NOTHING like the 'cutely' themed parks of today.  (For sure, a lot of Steeplechase's rides would probably have been banned by today's "Safety-First" park management.   )

There are so many clips of the old Steeplechase on YouTube, but I think you'd enjoy this one, below, because you'll see those "evil" little clowns.  It was filmed in 1932! -  but most of those one-of-a-kind rides were still around into the '60s!  Boy do I wish that TPR could go back in time and spend a day at Steeplechase.  That little ride ticket you got with that wonderfully weird grinning face pretty much said it all about the fun (and, yes, a bit of fear) that awaited the "guests." Here is the clip:

titled "Let's Go Coney! Island" (1932)

 

Alice (P.S.  Am happy to answer any more questions about Steeplechase, as I recall it thru the eyes of a small, but very observant child...and a forever fan!)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

In advance of its 10th season, Luna Park has released new concept art of their upcoming enhancements at the park including their new ropes course, log flume and roller coaster!

 

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https://lunaparknyc.com/luna-park-2020-more-fun-more-smiles-more-thrills/

 

LUNA PARK IS CELEBRATING ITS 10TH BIRTHDAY.

 

This year there will be more thrills, more experiences, more entertainment and more rides than ever before! Our full season calendar is available now, so you can plan your perfect visit.

 

Start your day at Luna Park on Stillwell Avenue. Our new beautiful entrance and public space will welcome you with entertainment, food options, and shaded seating areas.

 

Next, you can enjoy all of our thrilling rides. Test your daredevil skills on our brand new Ropes Course.

 

Experience thrills and chills beachside on our new Super Flume and Coaster. You can cool down and take a plunge on our new water attraction-Big WaveZ! Of course, you can ride our classics like Thunderbolt and Steeplechase.

 

After a day of heart-pounding thrills, you can eat at one of our delicious spots Flywheel Eats or Al Cavallino. If you want a quick snack stop by Half Moon Café, Zweetie, or Coney’s Cones for a sweet or savory treat.

 

This season we will have special birthday celebrations, entertainment, promotions and more, so stay tuned for specific dates and information!

 

OPENING DAY IS APRIL 4TH.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND JOIN US AS WE KICK OFF OUR 10TH BIRTHDAY SEASON.

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Bravo for this little bit of "the OLD Coney Island" coming to my home park! Keep bringing on the fun & magic that so many of us remember.

 

Alice

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The new designs look great. But - what is the ride depicted below? I'm not sure what it is or does.

Neptune-LunaPark.png.c138751909d8825a3ad9b1a81843d407.png

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^ This is what was previously referred to as "Big WaveZ", which is apparently some sort of new interactive water ride. What that means, I have no idea. Apparently Coney Island will be the debut of this ride type.

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So, the log flume, coaster, this water ride, and the ropes course are opening all in April? Has anyone been down there to see what the place has looked like/where they are on any of it?

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The new designs look great. But - what is the ride depicted below? I'm not sure what it is or does.
^ This is what was previously referred to as "Big WaveZ", which is apparently some sort of new interactive water ride. What that means, I have no idea. Apparently Coney Island will be the debut of this ride type.

 

It looks like a drop tower into a pool. That wedge below the seating would create a huge wave that sprays out towards whoever is watching the ride. There's a good chance riders will get soaked, as well.

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