Mayor Bloomberg's office issued a press release yesterday that annoyed me. (You can read it here
It said, in the big headline, that the two new Scream Zone coasters are the first new roller coasters at Coney Island since the Cyclone was built in 1927.
What? Two seconds of browsing rcdb reveal that, including those built last
year, there have been (at least) 8 roller coasters introduced at Coney Island since 1927.
Not surprisingly they have led with the inaccurate but flashy headline. Later on, buried in the text of the release it qualifies the claim and says that these are the first new major
roller coasters since the Cyclone in 1927.
Okay, the revised claim ignores the Bartlett/Miller Flying Turns coaster that was at Steeplechase Park in the 1930's. Seven of these were built in the 30's and '40's. If Knoebel's ever gets theirs going, this generation of fans can decide if it was "major" or not.
The qualification also implies that Zamperla builds "major" roller coasters. Ugh. I guess what this shows is that Coney Island, the birthplace of the archetype of the American amusement park, has fallen on such hard times, and for so long, that the addition of a Zamperla Volare
is considered historic, by no less than the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York.
Did you see the video (thanks for posting, Adam) of Mayor Bloomberg "releasing" the slingshot? A gaggle of sophisticated New Yorkers who've never seen an attraction that can be found at downscale beach boardwalks. And they think this transforms Coney Island into a world class attraction?
One reason I voted (again) for Mayor Bloomberg was the brilliant Coney Island re-zoning and the defeat of Joe Sitt and the Thor Equities plan to bulldoze the history and turn Coney Island into a mall. But the administration's rhetoric implying that Zamperla is the be all and end all of amusement manufacturers and operators is maddening.
The only thing world class about Coney Island right now is its history, which the Mayor's Office found fit to ignore entirely. Don't get me wrong, it's my "home park" and I love being there. But Zamperla was not the choice to create world class experience, at least not in the near term. I hope I'm wrong and they go on to build the Zamperla version of Mack's Europa Park. That would be fine by me if Zamperla steps up their game and starts building and installing serious rides. But even the Macks put in a B&M.
Thanks for listening to my rant.