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City’s Coney Christmas gift — leases to Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park through 2027

Let there be light: Deno “DJ” Vourderis stands at the Wonder Wheel, which will new sport new solar-powered lights this season.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Coney Island’s biggest attractions have a new lease on life!

The city renewed contracts with Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Luna Park that will allow the neighboring funzones to continue operating on publicly-owned parcels though the summer of 2027.

A new expanded lease will allow Luna Park — which runs the beloved Cyclone rollercoaster — to continue operating on public parkland between W. Eighth and W. 12th streets, and to take over city-owned parcels along W. 15th Street in order to construct the new Thunderbolt rollercoaster.

Luna Park owner Zamperla announced plans back in June to build a new Thunderbolt roller coaster — named for the famed attraction the city razed in 2000 — next to where its predecessor once stood. Luna’s Thunderbolt will be a steel, rather than wooden coaster. It will be built around an 11-story straight drop and a vertical loop — making it the first ride to send Coney-goers upside-down since the Loop-the-Loop, which closed shortly after World War I.

Zamperla rents its current space for $100,000 a year, but a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation — which brokered the new lease — said that Luna’s rent would likely go up by an unspecified amount.

Wonder Wheel Park will get to continue running its kiddie park on the lot along the Boardwalk between W. 12th Street and Jones Walk — which was once home to Ward’s Kiddie Park, and which the city purchased in 2008. The park owners would not specify his rent, but said it was in the six figures.

“We’re very happy to continue to be in the location, and we’re looking forward to the summer,” said Wonder Wheel owner Dennis Vourderis.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Luna's loop: Luna Park will expand to include the planned space for the Thunderbolt along W. 15th Street.
New York City Economic Development Corporation

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