FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES MORE PEOPLE VISITED CONEY ISLAND'S AMUSEMENT PARK THIS SUMMER THAN ANY SINCE STEEPLECHASE PARK CLOSED 46 YEARS AGO
More than 400,000 Visitors Take 1.7 Million Rides During Luna Park’s Inaugural Season
Demand Prompts City and Luna Park to Extend Season through End of October
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that Coney Island’s amusement park drew more than 400,000 visitors this summer, more than any summer since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964. In May, as part of the City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, the City and Central Amusement International opened Luna Park – a new 3.1 acre amusement park featuring 19 traditional and cutting-edge state-of-the-art rides. The new park drew more than 400,000 visitors, who took more than 1.7 million rides during its inaugural season, and it helped bring about Coney Island’s most active summer in decades. More than 14 million people visited Coney Island’s Beach and Boardwalk – almost four times as many as in 2009. Based on Luna Park’s success, the City and Central Amusement International announced plans to extend the 2010 season by three weeks through the end of October, with new programming, which will feature Halloween themes, to debut on October 15. The second phase of Luna Park – the Scream Zone – is on track to open for summer 2011 with an additional four rides.
“One of the reasons one of every ten jobs created in the U.S. in 2010 has been created in New York City has been the targeted investments we have made to attract private sector dollars, and create jobs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “For decades, Coney Island’s famed amusement park dwindled steadily, so we created the Coney Island Revitalization Plan to begin restoring its glory. The inaugural season of Luna Park has been an overwhelming success, helping to trigger the most active summer in Coney Island in more than four decades ago. Coney Island is back, and this is just the beginning.”
Among its new program offerings, Luna Park will debut Nights of Horror at Luna Park on Friday, October 15. Nights of Horror at Luna Park – featuring an interactive haunted maze - will include costumed characters lurking throughout the park, lighting, sound effects, and scenery guaranteed to give goosebumps to even the bravest amusement goers. Nights of Horror will run on weekends through Sunday, October 31, 2010 and conclude with the inaugural Coney Island Children’s Halloween Parade sponsored by Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.
“Who says the summer has to end now? There’s still plenty of LUNAcy to be had at America’s playground,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “The days may be getting shorter, but the list of all that Coney Island has to offer keeps getting longer. The nights may be cooler, but Coney Island is still a scorcher, as red-hot as a blazing July afternoon.”
“The results are in, and we can say with supreme confidence that the revitalization of Coney Island has been an amazing success," said Council Member Recchia. "The new Luna Park brought new visitors and new jobs to Coney Island, and they're a welcome addition to the family of businesses and attractions that make Coney Island great, like Gargiulo's, the Cyclones, Nathan's, Deno's Wonder Wheel, Luna Park and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The best part is, this is only the beginning. Next year, we're bringing more rides, jobs, affordable housing and infrastructure improvements to the people who work, live and play in Coney Island. If you think this summer was good, just wait, because you ain't seen nothing yet!”
“I want to congratulate Luna Park for a successful summer season. It was through hard work and determination that the Coney Island community is once again the place to be for summer fun,” said State Senator Diane J. Savino. “Besides the new attractions, I applaud Central Amusement International for creating the employment opportunities this summer and I am particularly happy to hear that they will continue to employee people from the community for an additional four weeks.”
“In its inaugural season, Luna Park has not only confirmed that Coney Island remains a popular summertime destination, but now it is proving that the neighborhood can and will become a thriving year-round economic engine for the City,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Over the next few years, as the City improves the area’s infrastructure to allow for further development, we look forward to the creation of new, exciting thrills for visitors and, as importantly, even more employment opportunities for local residents.”
“With over 14 million visitors to Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk – almost four times as many as last year – Coney Island proved once again that it is The People’s Playground,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “The successful arrival of Luna Park, along with longstanding attractions such as the magnificent beach and cool ocean views, Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, New York Aquarium, Brooklyn Cyclones games and more, created a one-of-a-kind summertime destination for New Yorkers.”
“Coney Island is one of the most iconic summer attractions our City has to offer. We’re pleased that so many visitors and New Yorkers have discovered the energy and excitement of the new Luna Park. We look forward to continuing to promote the area to tourists from all around the world,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the City's marketing, tourism and partnership organization.
“This summer, hundreds of thousands from near and far came to visit Luna Park, and proved the fun is definitely back in Coney Island,” said Valerio Ferrari, President of Central Amusement International, operator of Luna Park. “Extending the season and offering a one-of-a-kind Halloween spectacle – in just our first year in operation – is our way of saying ‘thank you,’ and it is a sign that the rebirth of America’s Playground is well underway.”
“A rising tide raises all ships in the harbor,” said Dennis Vourderis , who, with his family, runs Deno's Wonderwheel Park. “ We had a fantastic summer weather-wise; and with the opening of Luna Park and the publicity surrounding it, it was one of our best seasons in thirty years!”
Nights of Horror at Luna Park will run on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 p.m. until midnight and on Sundays from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Tickets are available for pre-purchase on Luna Park’s website at www.LunaParkNYC.com for $25, or $30 at the gate, and provide unlimited access to 12 of Luna Park’s thrill and family rides, along with the haunted maze. The haunted maze is recommended for visitors ages 14 and up. In addition, 1,000 buy-one-get-one free tickets and 50 free tickets will be available to local residents through each of the Borough President’s and Council Member Recchia’s offices. Nights of Horror at Luna Park was developed by Timothy Haskell, creator and director of the acclaimed Nightmare: New York’s Most Horrifying Haunted House.
The City invested more than $6.6 million to support the opening of Luna Park, 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 also investing a total of more than $130 million toward Phase I infrastructure improvements in Coney Island, including upgrading the underground infrastructure and rebuilding large sections of the Boardwalk.
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Julie Wood/Libby Langsdorf (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523
Robert Barletta (CAI) (212) 889-0808