Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Coney Bizz May Be Up But Crowds Seem To Have Fizzled

Image by Lornagrl (

The New York Post has conducted a general estimate study by surveying twelve boardwalk businesses. With most reporting between a 20 to 30 increase, many feel the buzz about this being Coney’s last year has made an impact on then number of Coney goers.

The New York Post reported:

"I think it's been part beautiful weather and part people having the wrong impression that Coney Island is closing down after this summer," said Dick Zigun of Coney Island Museum and Circus Sideshow, which he said is up 33 percent.

"We were so worried no one would come this year, but it's just the opposite, because people are coming from all over the world to cherish what could be the last year of Coney Island as we know it," said Lola Staar's Dianna Carlin.

Only Shoot the Freak is down, by 40 percent

Weather the misperception of Coney shutting down for construction after this season is the reason or not, it surely doesn’t look it from an observation of the Coney crowds this year. With daily visits to Coney one can see the crowds being much thinner this season compared to last year. Aside from the major events like the Mermaid Parade, the Hot Dog Eating Contest, and a few Friday nights, other weekends look more like last year's weekdays. The massive crowds have not come down this year to pack the place despite the changes that may take place.

One thing does seem more likely to see the end. And that is Astroland. Even though Astroland has actually made a campaign to let visitors know this is the last season for Astroland, it surely isn’t the last year for Coney Island. Its other main staples are here to stay. The Mermaid Parade, the Cylcone, the Parachute Jump, the Wonder Wheel, the Sideshows, and the museum will always be permanent fixtures. David Gratt of the Coney Island USA has said that this year’s Mermaid Parade was one of the best turn outs seen in years. “This is definitely not Coney’s last year and we shouldn’t be making people believe that, said Gratt.

Coney will stay. Perhaps not the Coney we know. It will change but still survive. As Carol Albert has said, “Coney Island has a kind of spirit about it – that it will reinvent itself no matter what. Of that I’m confident.”

Coney Byeland - Sales Up For 'Last Rides' [The New York Post]

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CIUSA board discussion on this topic

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