Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking steps to preserve the footprint he made in Coney Island long after he's gone, as the city has extended the leases of several well-known Coney Island Boardwalk business through 2027. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
The Soaring Eagle will continue to soar all the way to the year 2027.
In one the final acts of the Bloomberg administration, NY1 has exclusively learned that the city has extended the lease of Coney Island amusement park operator Central Amusement International for an additional seven years. CAI runs Luna Park, Scream Zone, the landmark Cyclone and all of the boardwalk businesses.
The city is also close to finishing a lease extension with Deno's Wonder Wheel Park.
"They've agreed to it, and we're just waiting for the final documents to be signed and sealed and delivered," said Dennis Vourderis, the owner of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. "So we're very optimistic that will happen."
The Vourderis family owns the landmark Wonder Wheel but leases the land near the boardwalk to run its kiddie park.
"Our lease on the kiddie park section of our amusement park runs currently 'til the year 2020. We've asked to go to 2027," Vourderis said.
Vourderis said it's a great parting gift from Bloomberg, who has invested greatly in the development of Coney Island. In 2005, the city released the Coney Island Revitalization Plan, with initiatives to preserve and grow the amusement area. Luna Park opened in 2010, and Scream Zone opened the following year. The boardwalk got a makeover, among other enhancements in the area.
Coney Island's resurgence has been attracting record crowds, including Beyonce, who just this week released a music video featuring Coney Island in all its glory.
"Mayor Bloomberg not only put in a lot of money into the area by purchasing property and doing several million dollars in infrastructure improvements, but he's also lent us the support of his staff," Vourderis said. "We couldn't have done it without him."
Vourderis said that as a thank you, he'd like to offer a lifetime pass to Bloomberg, who will soon become a grandfather after he leaves office.
"We'd love to see your grandchild here on the kiddie rides some day," Vourderis said.
Those rides, along with the others in the amusement district, are set to spin for more than a dozen years.