Coney Island businesses making last-ditch effort to reopen before season ends
NEW YORK - Amusement parks in New York City remain closed, and that has many owners frustrated.
Coney Island has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic as rides and carnival games remain closed heading into the normally busy Labor Day weekend.
“I never thought we would be closed for an entire summer," said Dennis Vourderis, co-owner of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park.
This year the Wonder Wheel is celebrating 100 years, there was supposed to be a huge celebration, but that's all on hold.
The closure of Coney Island amusement parks being closed all summer is costing owners, and surrounding businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue.
“It’s been a very tough year to say the least, financially and most of all mentally," said Vourderis.
The beach and some businesses are open, but it’s just not the same.
Vourderis and others are frustrated to see that neighboring states like New Jersey have opened up their amusement parks and that other indoor venues like casinos and malls have been given the green light to reopen.
They sent the state their safety plan back in May since amusement parks were set to open during phase 4, but were removed from the list in late June. It wasn't until just yesterday they heard back.
"They had no idea that we had submitted a plan they were asking now in September what our plan was and how we can re-open safely,” Vouderis said.
Salvaging what is left of the season, which for them ends October 31st, is all up to the state, they say. They hope to hear back from the governor’s office by next week.
However, one thing is for sure, they can’t afford to lose another summer.
In a statement, the mayor's office said it is evaluating the proposal and looks forward to engaging with all the stakeholders soon. The governor's office has yet to respond.