NY1 Exclusive: Luna Park Developer Takes Over Cyclone Operations
For the first time in three decades, Coney Island's landmark Cyclone roller coaster has a new operator. NY1’s Brooklyn reporter Jeanine Ramirez has exclusive details in the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Thrill seekers have been coming to ride the Cyclone for decades. Now as the landmark coaster gets ready to mark its 80th anniversary this year, it'll have a new operator – Zamperla, the same Italian ride manufacturing company and developer of Coney Island's Luna Park, which sits across the street.
"For us, the Cyclone is the coaster. People know this coaster around the world,” said Zamperla president Valerio Ferrari. “Many coasters have been named after this particular one."
In November, Carol Albert, whose family has been operating the Cyclone for last 37 years, told NY1 the wooden coaster was too costly to run and wanted out of the licensing agreement she had with the city. Now she's out and Zamperla says its been given control for a year until the city goes through a formal bidding process for the site.
Zamperla says it plans to make several hundred-thousand dollars in repairs and improvements.
"We're walking into something that we don't know how much it's going to cost," Ferrari said. “We know the ride requires some repair, but once we will do these tests, we will figure it out."
As the logistics for the Cyclone are figured out, Zamperla will also be busy erecting a modern, extreme coaster at a lot on Stillwell Avenue, the site of the new amusement park Scream Zone. Steel tracks have been delivered and next week they'll be erected.
When finished, it'll look like the photo on the right.
NY1 has also obtained video of the other three rides coming to the park. There's Turbo Force, which spins in full circles 132 feet in the air. There's the Human Sling Shot that catapults brave riders almost 200 feet in the air. And there's the Steeplechase coaster, a throwback to Coney Island's heyday.
"Steeplechase was a beautiful coaster right on the same site we're going to put the new one in,” Ferrari said. “Ours will be a steel coaster. The original was a wooden one, but the horses are going to be beautiful like the original one."
Coney Island's opening weekend is Palm Sunday, April 16th. All the rides, both old and new, are expected to be up and running.