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That New Yorker

New Zamperla Park at Coney Island to be named "Luna Park"

The Italian amusement company reportedly tapped to turn the city's controversial Coney Island redevelopment plan into a reality will name its plot "Luna Park" after the legendary Coney Island amusement park. "The park will be called, Luna Park, like the first, the only, the inimitable one, the one created by Frederic Thompson and Elmer 'Skip' Dundy," Alberto Zamperla — President and CEO of Zamperla — apparently told the Italian newspaper Il Giornale di Vicenza. If that's the case, Zamperla will have some pretty big shoes to fill.

The original Luna Park opened in 1903 and closed after it was ravaged by two fires in the 1944 season, but during its four decades of operation the 16-acre park became famous for amusements like the Shoot-the-Chutes flume ride and the Dragon's Gorge. But the Coney Island destination was perhaps most beloved for its nighttime looks, when hundreds of thousands of tiny electric lights would illuminate the park to simulate moonlight.

The blog Amusing the Zillion parses through the Italian article and reports that Zamperla is in a "race against time" to open his amusement park between April 15 — when his company apparently will gain site control from the city — and Memorial Day weekend. "For the first season we have estimated the presence of 400,000 visitors and we are confident it will grow in the future," he said. "In terms of investment, we are talking about $24 million over three years. For us it is a great satisfaction as well as a great opportunity." Though the American-branch of Zamperla declined to comment when asked about the amusement park, a spokeswoman told Gothamist that "Mr. Zamperla loves New York City."
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