Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coney Island's endless summer

To create this image, the photographer spent 15 hours suspended in a crane 150 feet above the Coney Island boardwalk.

To create this image, the photographer spent 15 hours suspended in a crane 150 feet above the Coney Island boardwalk

Via Fortune Magazine

New York City's No. 1 destination for thrill-seekers is in the middle of a high-dollar facelift.

By Anne VanderMey, reporter


FORTUNE -- In 1938, at the height of Coney Island's popularity, Fortune reported that the "narrow strip of land, about 800 to 1,000 feet in width and two and a quarter miles long," was valued at about $22 million, or $337 million in today's dollars. But the strip is probably worth more than that: New York City expects the boardwalk to generate $14 billion in the next three decades.

By the numbers:
11 million: Number of visitors to Coney Island last summer. Of those, 640,000 went to Luna Park and Scream Zone for the 26 rides -- the highest amusement park attendance since 1964. Two new rides will open this summer.

$4.5 million: Sale price of the Eldorado Auto Skooters building, purchased this spring by Thor Equities. Thor now owns about seven acres of land in Coney Island, and plans to develop some of its properties into ritzy hotels.

90 mph: Top speed of the Sling Shot, Luna Park's fastest ride. The first roller coaster in the U.S. made its debut in Coney Island in 1884. It cost 5¢ to ride and topped out at 6 mph. The Sling Shot costs $20 a pop.

Source: New York City Economic Development Corp.
This story is from the June 11, 2012 issue of Fortune.



Related: Stephen Wilkes: Day To Night exhibition extened through June 24