Coney Island Assembles Industry’s Big Wheels
The Cyclone’s riders are still screaming. The Wonder Wheel is still spinning. And folks are still jammed onto the sidewalk awaiting their hot dogs and fries from Nathan’s Famous. But with last year’s closing of Astroland, the remaining proprietors at Brooklyn’s Coney Island have adopted this season’s somewhat desperate tagline, “Really Fun. Really Open.”
Unfortunately, the perception among some is that Coney Island’s amusements are all gone. While the reality is that there is still plenty of fun to be had along the fabled boardwalk, it’s also true that the amusement mecca has been at a standstill as stubborn power brokers have been unable to compromise over competing visions to revitalize the district. That’s why, according to NY1 News, a group called the Coney Island Development Corporation brought together amusement industry veterans and experts on Tuesday to tour the area.
The panel was scheduled to meet and brainstorm this week, and is supposed to offer suggestions for restoring Coney Island’s faded glory. Participating industry heavies include Jim Seay, the president of Premier Rides (which pioneered magnetic induction coasters), Will Morey of the Jersey shore’s successful parks, Morey’s Piers, and Kieran Burke, the former CEO of Six Flags. On Tuesday, Burke noted that Coney Island should develop some high-profile attractions to attract huge crowds. Since he went on a spending spree and amassed $2 billion of debt for the beleaguered Six Flags chain however, Coney Island’s planners might want to take Burke’s suggestions with a grain of sea salt.
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