Coney Island Park Begins To Build Thrills
As a new era begins to take shape in Coney Island, the Italian company building the new Luna Park is making sure everything is on schedule for its grand opening later this month.
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Signs of a new landscape in Coney Island are springing up. Luna Park is scheduled to be up and running Memorial Day weekend. Park developers Alberto and Antonio Zamperla flew in from Italy to check on the progress Thursday as the clock ticks.
"Stress is part of play. And we're here to play. So we enjoy this kind of stress," said Antonio Zamperla of The Zamperla Group.
Work is going on some 20 hours a day at the park as Zamperla is putting up 19 rides for the season. The Zamperla family created one of the largest ride manufacturing companies in the world and is investing tens of millions of dollars to create their own park in Coney Island.
"My company, my family has been working in this field for more than 100 years. So for us, to start to work in Coney Island where the land that started Luna Park it's going back to history and we want to be part of it," said Alberto Zamperla.
The Zamperla Group won the city's bid to build and operate a park on the site of the former Astroland Amusement Park over the next 10 years. On one side of the park, the beginnings of a roller coaster are being assembled, while on another side the foundation is in place for a water flume. The park will also feature a first of its kind aero-dymanic ride known as the Air Racer.
Luna Park will serve as a Zamperla showcase and developers say they hope to attract worldwide park-goers as well as amusement industry folks to buy their new products.
"We are going to have our first ride so we can operate it here and know the reaction of the people and we can see how the ride performs so it's important for our company to be here," said Antonio Zamperla.
The company recruited workers from some of its factories around the world to help get the park ready.
"We're manufactured in Italy, China and the Philippines and we have technicians from all those countries, Italy, China, the Philippines to help us install these rides," said Valerio Ferrari of The Zamperla Group.
The last shipment of rides will arrive next week, and developers will begin testing them next weekend.
"We're going to bring new thrills, bring new action that's going to change everything around here," said Antonio Zamperla.
The Zamperlas will be on hand for the official ribbon cutting of the new Luna Park on May 28.
The park opens to the public the following day.