Mayor Bloomberg Opens "Scream Zone" Amusement Park in Coney Island
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Central Amusement International today opened “Scream Zone,” a new amusement park in Coney Island featuring four cutting-edge thrill rides that will operate alongside the year-old Luna Park. The amusement parks, both operated by Central Amusement International, are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each summer to Coney Island, which was rezoned by the City in 2009 as part of an area wide revitalization plan. The City purchased three parcels of land, totaling 6.9 acres, within the amusement district, and signed a 10-year lease with CAI to operate and build the new amusement parks on the property. Among Scream Zone’s rides are the first major roller coasters in Coney Island since the world-famous Cyclone opened in 1927 – Soarin’ Eagle and Steeplechase. The Mayor was joined at Scream Zone for the announcement by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, President and CEO of Antonio Zamperla S.p.A Alberto Zamperla, and Central Amusement International President Valerio Ferrari.
“Last summer was Coney Island’s biggest in nearly a half century, and this year – with the addition of the first new roller coasters since the Cyclone opened in 1927 – it’s going to be even bigger,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It had been decades since Coney Island saw any significant investment and the famed amusement district had dwindled as a result. Through the City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, we’ve brought back the vibrancy that made the area famous around the world, and with it comes jobs, visitors and economic opportunity. And the fun is just getting started.”
“Last year we brought the fun back to Coney Island, and now it’s time to Scream,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International. “With brand new thrill rides at Scream Zone adding to the 19 attractions at Luna Park and other amusements throughout the neighborhood, we are confident that Coney Island’s place as America’s Playground is once again secure – and I want to thank our partners at the City of New York for helping make our dream a reality.”
The new Soarin’ Eagle roller coaster suspends riders in a horizontal position, sending them on a series of dives and inversions. Steeplechase pays tribute to an iconic ride from Coney’s past as it launches riders around a track on horseback. The Sling Shot launches riders more than 150 feet into the air at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour. The 100-foot-tall Zenobio sweeps riders through the air at speeds of over 60 miles per hour.
Scream Zone will initially open on weekends through Memorial Day, when it begins daily operations. Like Luna Park, Scream Zone will maintain the open park layout that Coney Island is known for, and visitors will be able to pay per ride – between $7 and $20 for a single ride – using refillable “Luna Cards.” The parks will employ over 400 people this summer in positions such as customer service, retail, food and beverage service, park service, ride and game operations, party hosts, event staff, and grounds maintenance, and will help drive more visitors to existing neighborhood businesses.
“Coney Island is one of New York City’s most beloved neighborhoods and one of the world’s most famous, but over the past several decades it’s experienced little investment, a shrinking amusement district and a lack of economic opportunity for local residents and business owners. We’re reversing that trend,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “Luna Park was a phenomenal success in its first year last summer, and the Scream Zone is sure to help bring more visitors, activity and jobs to Coney this year.”
“The revitalization of Coney Island continues to progress with today’s opening of the brand new Scream Zone,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “These new parks are bringing visitors back to Coney Island, spurring more economic activity, and creating new jobs for the residents of the community.”
“Today the City’s plan is again delivering on its promise to transform Coney Island into the world's greatest open, affordable and accessible urban amusement park,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden. “City Planning's rezoning was instrumental in ensuring that the amusement area in Coney Island be protected for generations to come. With Luna Park and now the Scream Zone, Coney Island is once again becoming a destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
“Just in time for summer, these new rides will surely make kids of all ages, tourists, and New Yorkers scream with delight,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “More than a hundred years ago, Coney Island became known for family fun in the sun. Today there’s a new Luna Park that just opened last year, there are hundreds of new jobs and businesses restoring Coney Island’s reputation as a world class amusement and tourist destination. I want to thank the Central Amusement International, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., and Mayor Bloomberg for continuing to make this iconic neighborhood grow and thrive.”
“The opening of Scream Zone is another huge step forward in our successful revitalization of Coney Island,” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “This means more thrills and chills for the people who flock from around the world to visit this historic neighborhood, and more importantly, it means more job opportunities for the residents of Coney Island. Last summer we posted massive attendance numbers for Coney Island when we opened Luna Park, and I believe that this summer, we’re going to blow those numbers out of the water. This is going to be the biggest, best summer in Coney Island, and it’s only going to get better in the years to come.”
“Coney Island is ‘America’s Playground,’ a place where families of every income can enjoy attractions like the Cyclone, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the iconic Boardwalk and beach, the Brooklyn Aquarium and some great concerts. Now Coney Island is better than ever. The new Scream Zone - with its thrilling rides like the Soarin’ Eagle and Zenobio, is really bringing the noise back to Coney Island. Of course, I was honored when Mayor Bloomberg volunteered me to be the first person on the Sling Shot - but that is one scream that you won’t be hearing in this zone.”
“It’s wonderful to see the continuing revitalization of Coney Island,” said Congress Member Jerrold Nadler. “This brand new amusement park by Central Amusement is the culmination of many years of hard work by residents, activists, economic development officials, and elected officials working together to revitalize the Coney Island community. Most importantly, in addition to being the first new amusement park in Coney Island in decades, the ‘Scream Zone’ brings much needed economic development and jobs to Coney Island, and will be the catalyst for future economic growth. Finally, I want to especially thank Mayor Bloomberg, Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and Central Amusement International for their commitment and dedication to improving Coney Island for both visitors and residents.”
“All of Coney Island has anticipated the opening of Scream Zone, not just for the fun that will be had on the Steeple Chase Coster or the Sling Shot but also for the jobs it brings to this community,” said State Senator Diane J. Savino.
The City has invested more than $6.6 million to support the opening of Luna Park and Scream Zone. In addition, Central Amusement International has invested $12 million to open Scream Zone – representing a total investment of nearly $30 million for the company’s two Coney Island parks over the last two years. Central Amusement International coordinated with 10 engineering firms between the United States and Italy to design, plan, and operate the layout and the rides at Scream Zone.
Scream Zone is part of the City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, which will preserve and grow the historic amusement area; create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood with new retail options and nearly 5,000 new units of housing, including 900 income-targeted units; and generate more than 25,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs. As part of the plan, the City is investing more than $150 million toward infrastructure improvements in Coney Island, including upgrading infrastructure and rebuilding large sections of the Boardwalk.
Last year, New York City Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Protection, completed an Amended Drainage Plan to guide upgrades to subsurface infrastructure throughout the entire rezoning area, the first phase of which is currently in design. In addition, the City has completed final design for the new Steeplechase Plaza that will serve as the western entryway to the revitalized amusement district and will be home to the restored B&B carousel, with construction expected to commence later this summer. The City also expects to break ground this summer on Coney Island Commons, a new residential and community development with more than 180-units of affordable housing and a new state-of-the-art 40,000-square-foot YMCA. In total, the plan is expected to generate more than $14 billion in economic activity for New York City over 30 years.
In addition to Scream Zone, a number of new attractions will be added to the boardwalk area this summer. The Cyclone Café, a counter-service restaurant with diverse food offerings opened last week. This summer, Coney Island Development Corporation, NYC & Company, Rooftop Films and EpixHD will launch a new Coney Island Film Series with movie screenings on the beach. And Coney Cones, a new ice creamery on the boardwalk, will open later this summer.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.