Foul weather friends! Sandy-born business group celebrates anniversary

Fit to print: Community Newspaper Group publisher Cliff Luster chats with Alliance for Coney Island spokesman Ken Hochman at the business group’s lunch at Tom’s Restaurant on Nov. 15.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Coney Island’s newest institution has started a new tradition.

The Alliance for Coney Island business group — founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy — celebrated its one-year anniversary with a luncheon at Tom’s on the Boardwalk.

The celebratory meal drew more than 100 guests from the nearly 100 commercial interests belonging to the Alliance, which started with the owners of Denos Wonder Wheel Park, Gargiulo’s Restaurant, the New York Aquarium, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Luna Park, and Nathan’s. On the table were plans to enlarge the group by inviting more People’s Playground enterprises to join the coalition.

Very busy: People’s Playground business owners filled the diner on the Boardwalk.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

“We’re moving toward 100 members, and we would love to see that number multiply two or three times before the season begins,” said spokesman Ken Hochman. He added that any business or community group in Coney Island is welcome to join for the fee of $500 or $250, respectively.

The group also discussed continuing the Boardwalk fireworks, the impending construction of the new Thunderbolt roller coaster, and plans for further outreach to the residential section of the neighborhood — which is still reeling from the superstorm’s devastation.

“Although Sandy was an unfortunate incident, the silver lining is how people pulled together during a hardship,” Hochman said.

Big three: Wonder Wheel Park co-owner Dennis Vourderis, New York Aquarium director Jon Dohlin, and Luna Park presiden Valerio Ferrari hung out during the gathering.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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