May 28, 2010First New Amusement Park to Open in Coney Island in Nearly 50 Years Will Create 330 Jobs by 2011 with Emphasis on Local Hiring
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Central Amusement International today celebrated the opening of Luna Park at Coney Island – a new 3.1 acre amusement park featuring 19 traditional and cutting-edge state-of-the-art rides from Zamperla S.p.A, the renowned Italian designer and manufacturer of amusement attractions. The first rides at Luna Park will open this weekend, with the remaining rides to open in the coming days. It will remain open everyday through Labor Day, and on weekends through Columbus Day, for its inaugural season. It is the first new amusement park to open in Coney Island in nearly 50 years and will more than double Coney Island’s total amusement area. Luna Park already employs greater than 200 people, more than half of whom live in the Coney Island area. The Mayor was joined at Luna Park for the announcement by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden, Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, President and CEO of Antonio Zamperla S.p.A Alberto Zamperla, Central Amusement International President Valerio Ferrari, and Consul General of Italy to New York Francesco Maria Talo.
“Around the world, Coney Island is one of the most famous and beloved neighborhoods, largely because of its storied amusement traditions, but decades of disinvestment and neglect allowed the amusement district to shrink to a shell of its former glory. Today, we’re reversing that trend,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Luna Park will provide Coney Islanders, Brooklynites, all New Yorkers and visitors from around the globe a world-class amusement destination, and it marks a major step in the long-term revitalization of the entire area.”
“Today is an incredible day for Coney Island,” said Central Amusement International President Valerio Ferrari. “Luna Park is a world-class amusement park that pays tribute to the birthplace of the amusement industry, while keeping alive Coney Island’s tradition of innovation. We look forward to welcoming back the countless people throughout the world who have visited Coney Island in the past, and to creating incredible new memories for the millions we will welcome for the first time in the coming years.”
Luna Park incorporates a combination of thrill rides, family rides, and children’s rides, as well as food and beverage stands, and will provide regularly scheduled entertainment offerings beginning Friday, June 11th. For its inaugural season, Luna Park will be open Monday through Friday, from 12:00 Noon until midnight, and weekends from 11:00 AM until midnight. It will maintain the “open” park layout that Coney Island is known for, and visitors will be able to pay per ride – between $3 to $5 for a single ride – or purchase a wristband good for four hours of unlimited rides. Wristbands will cost $26 on Monday through Friday, and $30 on weekends.
“I hope that visitors are as excited as I am about Luna Park’s grand opening,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “Coney Island has always attracted tourists and City visitors for years, and the opening of this new amusement park will add to its character and culture that we love. What’s more – the fact that Luna Park is the first amusement park to open in 50 years – marks a new chapter for Coney Island, one that will be filled with jobs, economic growth and development. It seems only apt that there is a ride called ‘Brooklyn Flyer,’ where visitors are able to swing across the sky and see all of Luna Park – and Coney Island – from a new horizon.”
“Our critics said the thrill was gone from Coney Island, but they were wrong – and the proof is right here in Luna Park,” said Council Member Recchia. “We’re bringing Coney Island into a new era while honoring the past that makes it great. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his commitment to this community, and Central Amusement International and the Zamperlas, for making a new home in Coney Island. While I am thrilled beyond words at this exciting, vibrant park, this day really belongs to the people of this community. When we passed our revitalization plan, we promised the 50,000 people who live here that we would bring them jobs, and we would bring a new vitality to the neighborhood. This is only just the beginning of the amazing things we have in store.”
“Back at the turn of the 20th Century, people called the amazing Luna Park an ‘Electric Eden’ – and now after 66 years, we’ve got a new Luna Park for the 21st Century! Coney has always been ‘America’s Playground,’ a place where families of every income can enjoy pay-as-you-ride fun, and this new park with its 19 new rides is carrying on that tradition,” said Borough President Markowitz. “So whether you’re coming for Luna Park, the Cyclone, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the iconic Boardwalk and beach with its new water slide park, or classic eats from chowhound faves like the newly reopened pizza mecca Totonno’s, Coney is the ultimate destination for affordable and unforgettable family fun.”
“I am very pleased to welcome Luna Park to Coney Island, and to help usher in the economic revitalization that has eluded this neighborhood for too long,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “A revived amusement district will bring with it much-needed public and private investment in Coney Island, including infrastructure improvements, jobs, and a commitment to affordable housing for residents. I congratulate Central Amusement International and the City for reinvesting in Coney Island and working hard to ensure that jobs are reserved for people in the neighborhood.”
“Today represents a new chapter for Coney Island. Once again Coney Island will claim its rightful place as a premier recreation destination,” said Senator Diane J. Savino. “I want to thank the community for their input all along this process. Most of all I am happy that in our current fiscal crisis, this project will provide summer jobs for over 200 people from the community. I want to welcome Luna Park back home, 66 years is way too long.”
“The Bloomberg Administration’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan calls for many long-term developments beyond amusements – new infrastructure, new affordable housing and, with them, new jobs. But at its heart is an expanded amusement district that will help Coney Island retake its former glory,” said Deputy Mayor Lieber. “With the opening of Luna Park, this is sure to be a fantastic summer at Coney Island, and it’s only just the start of what’s to come.”
“This weekend’s opening of Luna Park symbolizes more than new entertainment options for the neighborhood’s visitors and residents; it is the first of what will be many milestones in the process of revitalizing Coney Island in the coming years,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Pinsky. “More than 200 New Yorkers have been hired by Luna Park this summer and area businesses are already capitalizing on the growth that we expect to see continuing over the next decade.”
“Today is a great day for Coney Island fans all over the globe,” said City Planning Commissioner Burden. “The City’s plan for Coney Island is helping it reclaim its title as the world's greatest open, affordable and accessible urban amusement park, and the new Luna Park is a major step towards a year round amusement and entertainment district. These amazing new amusements show that the City’s plan is becoming a reality.”
“For me, summer in New York has always meant pennant fever in the Bronx and the thrill of the rides in Brooklyn, and now there's more of them to enjoy than ever before,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “These state-of-the-art rides are a wonderful addition to the Coney Island boardwalk, and our inspectors have been working closely with the builders to ensure they are safe for everyone to use. New developments like Luna Park fuel this City’s economic engines and make this City a better place to live and work for millions of New Yorkers.”
“Coney Island is gearing up for another fun summer and the opening of Luna Park ensures that Coney Island remains ‘the people’s playground.’ New Yorkers now have another world-class amusement park to visit while they also enjoy the spectacular beach,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Benepe. “This summer, as always, we remind beach-goers to observe all beach rules and regulations, to swim only where and when a lifeguard is on duty, and, most important, to observe common sense and keep an eagle eye on children in or near the water.”
“Coney Island is known across the globe as a must-visit New York City destination, a reputation it earned nearly a century ago when the original Luna Park opened its doors and welcomed the world,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “Despite the many changes the district has undergone over the years, Coney Island has always retained its iconic appeal. We know the new Luna Park will give visitors even more reason to come to this seaside Brooklyn neighborhood while at the same time supporting the many local businesses that depend on tourism to the area.”
Five food stands are located throughout Luna Park serving up Carvel Ice Cream; popcorn, cotton candy, candy apples, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Coney Island Luna Lager, and American BBQ, among others.
The rides include:
Air Race – Making its world debut at Luna Park, this thrill ride simulates the experience of fighter pilots and sends riders upside-down at up to 4Gs of force.
Balloon Expedition – This family-friendly ride allows visitors to explore Coney Island from 40 feet in the air.
Beach Shack – This family ride simulates the feel of a beach shack that's been caught in a hurricane.
Brooklyn Flyer – This thrill ride allows visitors to swing across the sky, 100 feet above Luna Park.
Circus Train – This children’s ride allows kids to hop aboard for a ride around the tracks.
Coney Island Sound – This family-friendly ride bounces up, down, and around.
Coney Tower – This family adventure ride bounces visitors up-and-down from heights of up to 40 feet.
Eclipse – This pendulum swing takes riders up to 50 feet in the air with nothing below their feet.
Electro Spin – This thrill ride consists of a giant, spinning disk that takes riders up and down a “half pipe” while rotating at high speed.
Happy Swing – This children’s ride allows adults to recall their favorite childhood swing sets, while treating young riders to the joys of swinging.
Kite Glider – This family ride offers an experience like the sensation of free flight. Riders are placed in a horizontal position, and after lifting off the ground, the ride begins an exciting double-oscillating wave-like motion.
Lunar Express – This family gravity coaster is making its North American debut in Coney Island.
Lynn's Trapeze – This flying carousel allows riders to glide at ease while viewing historic images of Coney Island.
Mermaid Parade – This kid-size water flume allows young riders to join in on the famous Mermaid Parade.
Speed Boat – This family ride feels like visitors are jumping the waves on a brand new speed boat.
Surf's Up - This one-of-a-kind stand-up ride lets riders “hang ten” and “catch a wave.”
Tea Party – This family-favorite positions riders in an oversized tea cup to spin at their own speed.
The Tickler – A modern take on a classic ride of the same name from the original Luna Park, this twisting coaster features an action-filled layout full of switchback curves and rapid-fire drops.
Wild River – This water ride offers a refreshing splash down a 40-foot-tall chute.
The City has invested more than $6.6 million to support the opening of Luna Park. In addition, Central Amusement International will invest nearly $30 million over the next two summers to open and operate Luna Park and the Scream Zone, the second phase of development that will add an additional four rides including a new roller coaster. Central Amusement International’s investment includes nearly $3 million for site preparation, more than $15 million to open Luna Park, and an additional $12 million to open the Scream Zone by 2011. Central Amusement International coordinated with 10 engineering firms between the United States and Italy to design, plan, and operate the layout and the rides at Luna Park.
Luna Park is part of the City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, which will preserve and grow the historic amusement area; create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood with new retail options and nearly 5,000 new units of housing, including 900 income-targeted units; and generate more than 25,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs. As part of the plan, the City is investing a total of more than $150 million toward Phase I infrastructure improvements in Coney Island, including upgrading the underground infrastructure and rebuilding large sections of the Boardwalk.
By July 2010, New York City Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Protection, will have completed an Amended Drainage Plan for upgrades to all subsurface infrastructure throughout the entire rezoning area. In addition, the City is in final design to renovate the iconic Steeplechase Plaza that will serve as the western entryway to the revitalized amusement and entertainment district, with construction expected to commence by early 2011. The City also expects to break ground on Coney Island Commons, a new residential and community development with more than 180-units of affordable housing and a new state-of-the-art 40,000-square-foot YMCA in fall 2010. In total, the plan is expected to generate more than $14 billion in economic activity for New York City over 30 years.