As New Yorkers get ready to mark the unofficial last weekend of summer 2012, local merchants and vendors in Coney Island say the season has been more than just a mild success. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Thursday was a beautiful beach day at Coney Island and it was difficult for some visitors to accept that summer is just about done.
"You still relive your childhood every summer. And when it comes to Labor Day you have that same sick feeling like school is going to start, even though you haven't been in school for 50 years," said one boardwalk goer.
But with one more big weekend left, businesses here in Coney are looking forward to capping off what has been a successful summer. Dennis Vourderis of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park says after last summer's stormy weather the good conditions this year was a big help.
"Every weekend was sunny and hot, dry, and people were out here," Vourderis said.
It was a similar story for Luna Park next door, which also operates the world famous Cyclone rollercoaster.
"We are very excited to have the good weather that we've had, even today and this weekend, we're just happy to have people out in the sunshine enjoying Coney Island visiting us here at Luna Park," said Luna Park Marketing Manager Nicole Purmal.
While the amusement parks were busy, so were shops and restaurants on the new-look boardwalk, part of the ongoing revitalization of the shore front area. Lola Star's gift shop is one of the mainstays of the boardwalk. She says it attracted a lot of attention and customers.
"We just installed this fabulous new sign which added a lot to the boardwalk a lot of glitz and glamour, so, I think it's been an amazing summer for improvements in Coney Island," Star said.
Folks who spoke with NY1 say a busy Labor Day weekend will really end the summer on a great note.
"For us, I mean we're just rocking during those big weekends, so it's going to be a good one I can tell," added Star.
"Labor Day weekend is the icing on the cake," Vourderis said.
Even though Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, Deno's and Luna Park are not shutting down completely. Both will remain open on weekends through October, perhaps a preview of a future Coney Island which will be more of a year-round destination.