Saturday, December 16, 2006

Thor May Bring The Circus To Town......Year-Round!

According to various reports as stated in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thor Equities has been in talks with The Big Apple Circus. Philip Thurton, public relations manager for Big Apple Circus said, “They [Thor] approached us. We’ve had a couple of talks — you could call them preliminary talks — but there is no plan. Nothing has been decided.”

Circuses were always part of Coney in one way or another. Small ones were held in Steeplechase and Luna Parks. Upon hearing that Thor wants to bring a circus back to Coney Island, CIUSA curator/CIDC board member, Dick Zigun said, “That’s terrific. I love it.”

In addition to The Big Apple Circus, and according to various sources as of which has not yet been confirmed Thor has not only communicated with Viacom's Nickelodeon but Disney as well.

If any of this is true, then it seems that Sitt and Thor Equities must be a bit confused in what to make of Coney's new amusement "extension". Earlier in the year they hired Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects to help transform ten acres along the boardwalk - culminating in a series of renderings released throughout the summer depicting a flashy stretch of Coney main-street at the foot of high towers. Later hiding the towers and throwing in a weaving generic roller coaster. Then there were preliminary talks with kid network Nickelodeon about the family resort that was declined for Governor's Island. Now, just last week it seems the slate has been erased (for the amusement "extension") for something different when Thor announced in a Community Board 13 meeting that hey hired a top amusement designer and producer, ThinkWell to conjure up a new dream for Coney. What, if any, talks with Disney is taking place surely seems far fetched. Especially since there is little room to play with when it comes to anything Disney - except for retail or a single attraction.

With all the probing for partners and artist consulting Thor is doing, nothing definite yet seems to be shaping up. And that's perhaps because Thor yet doesn't know how the ground under them will shape up to be. The city still needs to approve the rezoning needed as part of the Coney Island Development Corporation’s (CIDC) effort to convert Coney into a year-round destination. “Until Thor gets the city approval, no one is ready to put down money or commit yet,” said Jake Lynn, a representative for Thor Equities. The property owned by Thor is zoned for low-density commercial and outdoor amusements only and not for high rises to be built on as hotels or condos - the components Thor keeps pressing is needed for revenue and year-round possibilities. And perhaps a component many are now beginning to accept as making sense.

The main worry has been whether Thor's
intentions are for the benefit of Coney's past, present, and future spirit.

Thor in Talks with Big Apple Circus;Could Bring Big Top Back to Coney [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Can see full article here on CIUSA bulletin board (Courtesy of Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

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