March 13, 2008
Coney Island rides again!
Amusement operators will unleash the Cyclone and whirl the Wonder Wheel nearly a month early for what may well be the last summer on Coney Island as we know it. Against a backdrop of secretive negotiations between developer Joe Sitt, who owns most of the... Read More »
October 24, 2007
Coney Island's Astroland Lives
The world-renowned Astroland amusement park has a new lease on life, although it is a short one. The venerable Coney Island institution, which appeared doomed after its Labor Day closing, will instead reopen for one more season next year under a deal anno... Read More »
August 25, 2007
Astroland Negotiations For 2008 "At a Standstill"
Astroland's stay of execution may have hit a snag. While there were hopes that Thor Equities, the developer who has purchased the amusement park for $30 million as part of its ambitious Coney Island development plans, and Astroland operators could work ou... Read More »
August 20, 2007
Astroland holds off on selling rides - New deal could extend amusement park’s life beyond 2007
Is there still a chance for Astroland to abort its final countdown to September 9? That’s when the 45-year-old amusement park’s lease expires and it’s scheduled to burn out forever. But many in Coney Island hope that a decision by Astroland’s owners to st... Read More »
August 14, 2007
Community Leader Announces Petition Drive To Save Astroland
This summer, Coney Island’s good times seem destined to roll on forever at the Astroland Amusement Park. Sadly, this is not true. First opened in 1962, the end of Astroland Amusement Park, at least at its current location, is less than five short weeks aw... Read More »
June 21, 2007
Astroland Granted a Stay of Execution
If you like your Astroland, there's some good news. The Post is reporting that the Coney Island amusement park will be open for another summer. Apparently, Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. is brokering a deal to keep the park open through the 2008 season. A... Read More »
June 04, 2007
Coney Island amusement park kicks off final summer
On a Coney Island afternoon, as the screams echo from deep inside the haunted house and laughter rings above the thump of the bumper cars, the good times would seem destined to roll on forever at the Astroland Amusement Park.... Read More »
April 02, 2007
Coney Island's Astroland Opens Final Season - WCBS-TV New York
The vintage Astroland Amusement Park on Coney Island is open -- for what may be its last season.
It opened Sunday under gloomy, cloudy skies.
The amusement park was purchased last fall by Thor Equities in a more than $1 billion plan to make it into a year-round destination. The group plans to close the 3.1-acre attraction at the end of the 2007 season.
Thor's plans include a mix of amusements and attractions, including a new roller coaster and a new hotel to accommodate the anticipated arrival of new tourists.
The famed Cyclone rollercoaster was not part of the purchase. The family that sold off the Astroland Park will continue to run it.
March 30, 2007
Fight to preserve Coney Island spirit - amNewYork
From sultry burlesque dancers to towering stilt walkers, the denizens of Coney Island's boardwalk will rally in Manhattan Friday to draw attention to their escalating fight against a condominium-centered redevelopment plan.
"People who love the history of Coney Island don't want to see the amusements and rides diminished," said Omar Robau, editor of the blog Kinetic Carnival, which covers Coney Island. "It's obvious now the main issue is the residential buildings, the condos."
Robau has been tracking the conflict between real estate developer Joseph Sitt's $2 billion plan for Coney and residents who think that vision will steal the area's historic soul. Sitt, who now owns most of the core real estate along the boardwalk, has been pushing the city to rezone it for residential use. So far the city has refused, saying condos are not compatible with the rides and games that made Coney famous.
The battle is coming to a head as the boardwalk's historic Astroland Park reopens Sunday for what will be its final summer before it is torn down as part of the development plans.
"Coney Island is broken and it needs to be redeveloped, but it doesn't need condos in the core. It needs rides," said Dick Zigun, founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. "What you need here is an amusement park worthy of the brand name Coney Island.
"It's got to be loud, urban, and very New York. It's got to be spectacular.'
Starting at 11 a.m. today, marchers will gather at City Hall and then march up Broadway, chanting "no condos for Coney!" and wearing costumes to display "the creativity that signifies Coney Island," according to organizer Save Coney Island's Web site, www.myspace.com/saveconeyisland.
Thor Equities, Sitt's development company, said it needs to include condos in any Coney Island development plan to make it profitable. "The greater the amount of residential allowed, the larger the scope of the amusement component," said spokesman Tom Corsillo in an email statement.
Critics of Thor say the company has forced local merchants to sign gag orders as a condition of renewing their leases.
Others say they are concerned that the company is bulldozing large swaths of land with the intention of creating urban blight and forcing the city's hand to approve the rezoning.
But with the opening of Astroland for what promises to be the 45-year-old amusement park's final season, even the burlesque dancers and stilt walkers agree that this summer will mark the end of an era for Coney Island.
December 11, 2006
Astroland Amusement Park Over & Out - Courier Life Publications
Astroland Amusement Park will soon become a part of Coney Island’s storied history.
This week, Thor Equities announced its purchase of the 3.1-acre park from the Albert family. The purchase price was unavailable at press time. Astroland will close after the 2007 season.
July 23, 2006
Coney Island Amusement Park Celebrates Twins And Multiples Day - NY1
New Yorkers were seeing double at Coney Island Sunday as the amusement park hosted the fourth annual Twins & Multiples Family Day.
About 300 siblings celebrated their similarities. Families came from as far away as Texas and Virginia.
"It's fun to be different than other people," said participants Ashley and Sara Troyano. "It's fun for them to ask us if we are twins or not."
"It's a fraternity that we are born into, so the only people that really understand our life are twins, triplets and quadruplets," said creators Debbie and Lisa Ganz. "We're born into a we world and everybody else is born into an I world."
There was also a talent competition and group photos.