Beloved fans now may gather again at iconic Coney Island
After months of protests from Brooklyn residents and other New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally announced a plan to reopen amusement parks this April, giving Coney Island much-needed answers.
“Outdoor amusement parks can reopen starting April 9 with 33 percent capacity, face covering, social distancing, temperature checks, cleaning, disinfection, tickets sold in advance, etc.,” Cuomo said during his Wednesday, Feb. 17 news conference.
Coney Island amusement parks, including Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Luna Park, didn’t open for the 2020 season due to the global pandemic.
“We are looking forward to show our ability to reopen safely and to be a flicker of light at the end of a very dark tunnel,” said Deno Vourderis, co-owner of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. “We are proud to be a business that will help the greatest city in the world come together and smile again.”
The park is slated to celebrate the delayed 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel itself, which opened in 1920, this year.
Deno’s will be also home to the Phoenix, a high-thrill, state-of-the-art rollercoaster that is scheduled to be finished later this year.
“We’re thrilled to hear the news and we cannot wait to share laughter and joy with our amazing guests, “ said Alessandro Zamperla, president of Central Amusement Inc., which runs Luna Park. “The health and safety of our guests and team members are always our primary focus, and we are happy to continue working with our government and health officials to ensure that when we open Luna Park in Coney Island we will create enjoyable memorable experiences for everyone in a safe and fun environment.”
Luna Park is home to the Cyclone, a classic 1920s-era wooden rollercoaster, as well as the Thunderbolt, a modern steel coaster.
All outdoor amusement parks must follow the guidelines listed below:
- Contact information must be collected from each party to expedite contact tracing, if needed;
- Frequently touched areas, attractions and rides must be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day;
- Attractions must close if they cannot ensure distancing and can’t be frequently cleaned/disinfected;
- Sufficient staff must be deployed to enforce compliance with rules, including capacity, distancing and face coverings;
- Tickets should be sold in advance, and entrances/exits and waiting times should be staggered to avoid congestion;
- Indoor areas must meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards;
- Retail, food services and recreational activities must abide by all state-issued guidelines.
“We are ecstatic to hear that guidelines for amusement parks have been announced by Governor Cuomo,” said Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island. “We have been advocating for our amusements to be permitted to open as they are critical for the Coney Island economy and an iconic part of New York. 2020 was a difficult year for all of Coney Island, and we are glad to be able to put it behind us and safely welcome guests back.”
However, some still want more answers.
“This is a positive step, but we need more information,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger.