Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ruby Host Rant: Coney Is NOT Shutting Down!

Coney Island lover Ruby's Host wants to set the record straight. She doesn't want the press to set the wrong tone about the closing of Coney Island. In a recent e-mail burst she expresses her concerns:

Coney Island IS Not "SHUTTING DOWN" the rides as quoted by "Tricia Vita" that are "packing up" are not the Actual Coney Rides as Astroland and Deno's. They are a group of traveling carnivals with rides, games etc that were only contracted by Thor to be here from Memorial day weekend to the end of July. They are scheduled to be in TN for - I believe a state or county fair. Coney Island is still here. We, as owners/operators were told they would be here for a short stay this summer. Coney Island has always had traveling carnivals " Stop by for short visit" .

There was a second traveling carnival that was here as well that left the middle of June as their contract with Thor had stated. The property that the traveling carnival housed was purchased by Thor about 4 years ago.

We are trying to preserve the acres that are zoned as the amusement park section along with the heritage of Coney Island etc. The true section of Coney Island is about 3+ miles long not just the main artery of Stillwell and Surf Ave. Coney Island is a spirit of adventure - the birth place of roller coasters, food, boardwalk, friends, beer, new and strange wonderful - mysterious things not just a ride by the beach. This struggle will be on going for the next few years now that Thor and the city have started their Public Scoping hearings etc.

Rubys Host

Image courtesy of Rubys Host (


Anonymous said...

Hey Rubyshost, we are on the same side! In your email you have mischaracterized my quotes in the Metro story. You also have your facts about the carnival's promised run wrong.

fyi people who agree to be interviewed for news articles do not have any control over what appears in the actual article. The reporter contacted me after reading my post "Geren Himalaya Leaving on Monday?" on the CIUSA message board:
If you read this thread and Thor's May press release, you will see that Sitt specifically promised Geren's Himalaya and a few other rides (which left last week) as well as a Zipper (which hasn't showed up yet) and a petting oo (which left on June 3) through Labor Day, not end of July.

Here is the text from Thor's press release:
Dozens of new amusements, including the largest number of new and exciting rides in decades, coming to Coney through Labor Day.......Rides that will operate in “Dreamland” all summer include: Majestic Himalaya, Ring of Fire, Spin Out, Giant Gondola, Wacky Worm, Zipper, Mind Scrambler, Bumper Cars, Mini Himalaya, Mini Jet 6, and a Carousel. A petting zoo will also be located inside “Dreamland.” Sideshow attractions the will alternate throughout the summer include: The World’s Smallest Horse, the World’s Largest Alligator, the 100-lb. rat and the World’s Smallest Woman.

I don't like the headline "Coney Island Shutdown." Thor's Summer of Hopelessness is more like it. But I didn't write it and neither did the reporter, who did a pretty decent job with her 100 word count story. At least Metro is covering the story of Thor's broken promises in Coney which is more than I can say for some other papers!

While the headline is unfortunate, people who actually read the article said it's clear the rides mentioned are on Sitt's empty parcel where evicted amusements once were. In any case, Thor's aim is to shut down nearly all of the amusements in Coney to clear the way for a shopping mall and high rises.

You can also check out the Gowanus blog for lengthier coverage of Thor's disintegrating Dreamland/Summer of Hopelessness. Blogs don't have to worry about word count!

Thor’s “Summer of Hope” in Coney…Ending in July
July 17th, 2008 · No Comments

Anonymous said...

I’ve walked by Sitt's rides plenty of times mid day on the weekends. While Astroland, Denos, and the other independent rides had good business, That pathetic attempt by Joe Sitt to bring new and exciting rides to his land (more like old tired rides that been traveling the country for years), didn’t even have any customers. It was even debated whether they were open for business or not. Sitt’s lot was very unfriendly to walk on. Last weekend they didn’t even bother to cover the cables running on the ground. Who wants to walk where they have to make sure they don’t trip over things. Who wants to walk on uneven rocky ground?

The question is, Did Sitt purposely want his Summer of Fun to fail? This is a man who claimed amusements don’t make money. What better proof of that wrong statement then sabotaging his effort of creating more amusements in Coney Island?

Sitt rides sit idle, then goes away.