Luna Park draws highest traffic to Coney Island in 46 years

Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The popularity of the new Luna Park, which opened in late May, helped create the highest-traffic summer on Coney Island in 46 years, with 14 million people descending on the storied beach and boardwalk in Brooklyn. That’s four times as many visitors as in 2009, according to an announcement by the mayor’s office.

Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:57 PM

I went three times this summer. It was crazy busy!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:43 PM

Save Lola Staar's Boutique!

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2:24 PM
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:46 PM

Well deserved and longgggggggggggggggg overdue!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2:09 PM

And only one minor stabbing reported? (or that we know of) You have better odds of winning some lotteries than getting stabbed!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2:51 PM

I don't get this article. While it starts out favorably comparing Coney's attendance this year over previous years, it morphs into this article about how Coney's improved numbers are nothing compared to those of Forever 21. What does one have to do with the other? Publish a separate article about Forever 21 if you want to gush over its numbers, WSJ.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:00 PM

I have to agree - the reporting style of the piece does leave me scratching my head as well... One had nothing to do with the other, but maybe they needed column filler?

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:03 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
What does one have to do with the other?

Perspective.

While Luna's numbers show huge increases at Coney, they still pale in comparison to a clothing store in Times Square that opened around the same time.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:48 PM

But it's apples and oranges. They're not competing for the same customers, nor are they in the same niche. The only things they have in common are they happen to be in the same city and opened around the same time. Even there, Manhattan has far more people living and visiting, so the comparison weakens. Perhaps they should be shaking their fingers at the Yankees too, who draw fewer fans to a home game than visitors to Forever 21 on any given day.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:13 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
The only things they have in common are they happen to be in the same city and opened around the same time.

Ok. If they compared to another park the only sames would be that they're both parks.

You pick your criteria and go with it, I suppose. This article is comparing new establishments that opened in New York this past spring. Not comparing amusement parks.

Perhaps they should be shaking their fingers at the Yankees too, who draw fewer fans to a home game than visitors to Forever 21 on any given day.

Sure, they could make the same comparisons using the Yankess and Forever 21. (it might be a bit more of a stretch since the Yanks have been around a lot longer than this past spring)

But the article was about Luna. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:17 PM
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:36 PM

But what conclusion is the reader supposed to draw from the article? That any business not drawing as many people as Forever 21 is a failure? If this place hadn't opened around the same time, then what do you compare it to? Some bodega up in the Bronx?

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:48 PM

The article wasn't comparing Luna Park to Forever 21 as much as it was comparing Coney Island to Times Square with that statement. I guess the conclusion I'd come to is that Times Square is where the money's at, but that Luna Park has brought new peeps out to Coney.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:50 PM

I'm going to chock it up to the reporter having a liquid lunch during the brainstorming session - They obviously wanted to take a free couple of rides on Shiny Zamp's and then had to go shopping at Forever 21 for that forgotten birthday gift...

They call that in England - taking a Jolly at work!

<Looking around to see if anyone bought that>

;-)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 5:05 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
But what conclusion is the reader supposed to draw from the article?

I take from it that while Luna is doing great business at Coney compared to past parks, it pales in comparison to what a clothing store in Times Square does.

Which, admittedly, isn't really much of a revelation. Any of us could've guessed that.

That any business not drawing as many people as Forever 21 is a failure?

That's an odd conclusion. I don't think the article implies that.

If this place hadn't opened around the same time, then what do you compare it to? Some bodega up in the Bronx?

I dunno.

If you compare it to another amusement park, which one do you compare it to. Disney World? Rye Playland? Six Flags in Jersey? Those all seem equally misguided.

The writer compared the current Luna Park to the parks that have stood there previously and stated that this year they saw more people than any summer in the past 46 years. Then took it a step further and comparted it to another new establishment in a different part of town to put the first comparison into perspective.

Which goes back to the very first line in this reply o' mine:

What are we to conclude?

That while Luna is doing great business at Coney compared to past parks, it pales in comparison to what a clothing store in Times Square does.

I'm not sure it's any more complicated than that.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 5:58 PM

Brooklyn's in da house!

Glad that Coney is doing so much better. I miss the summers where I would hop on the D train all the way from the Bronx to Brooklyn (2 hours) and spend the whole day at there. It was a blast!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:40 PM

I'm not very familiar with the Wall Street Journal on line, but the article is in the Metropolis section, which I assume usually translates to easier reading. There is a subcategory of "culture" telling me to look for artistic or human behavior type articles that involve the city. I think they weren't comparing amusement parks to retail giants, or essaying that one activity is better than another, but taking the tourism industry slant. These two places are being considered as perhaps the top new tourism draws of 2010 in all of New York City. It is a bit of a stretch comparison, considering that one is in Times Square, and the other at the butt-end of Brooklyn, but I guess NYC's tourism industry spreads far and wide.

I'd be willing to bet that the good percentage of Coney's visitors right now are "locals" while Times Square gets most of the tourists. So the increase in Coney's numbers are impressive in that people from the city accept Coney as a cleaner, safer, and more fun place to go, which was one of the goals of the development. New York is such that this park could survive just fine and even thrive on that business alone, even if they never received a single tourist.

It seems these days that destination retail stores are being considered "attractions", (I think of that huge Toys R Us that was such a tourist hit), and probably count every person who walks in as a visitor. Did everyone of them plunk down money and buy something? No, but they walked through, just like any of us would do if we were spending the day at Times Square. Did most visitors to Luna, Nathan's, Cyclone or any of the up and coming businesses at Coney Island make a purchase of some kind? Probably. If Luna doesn't come out the winner in this convoluted contest, maybe Coney Island does.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:27 PM

I would have been more interested in a comparison between this summer's attendance at Luna Park and some of the attendance figures of the original Luna Park back in its peak. But that's probably the coaster enthusiast bias in me and this article was intended for a completely different audience.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:01 AM

^Agreed. I was wanting to see what the numbers were 46 years ago. Seemed relevant to the subject, moreso than a clothing store in Times Square. Seriously, when Forever 21 was mentioned in the first paragraph, I had to reread the title of the article to see if I missed something. This is the first paragraph:

This summer, Coney Island’s first new amusement park in decades lured more than 400,000 visitors who took 1.7 million rides, the city announced Tuesday. But that wasn’t even close to enough to compete with the new city’s new tourist heavyweight: Forever 21 in Times Square.

While I don't have a problem with the comparison overall, the second sentence implied that Forever 21 was the primary subject of the article. It totally sets the reader up to expect the rest of the article is going to focus on its attendance figures, not Coney's.

The fact that Coney's attendance was four times what it was last year is impressive; I was hoping to see more stats along those lines.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
**While typing up this response, I just figured out the primary problem--if the title of the article was actually identical to the title in my browser header bar, I wouldn't have had any issue with the article.

In Coney Island, a Summer for the Record Books
vs.
Coney Island's Luna Park Can't Compete with Forever 21 Times Square in Summer Traffic

I first posted this at UrJournalismSuxBuzz.com.

Last edited by Vater, Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:03 AM
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Friday, September 24, 2010 8:59 AM

Good for them. It saddened me to watch the long slow death of Coney Island after seeing films and footage of what it once was years ago. After all this time, it seems that people still want to be there. The success of Luna should send a signal to developers that Coney Island is still very much alive and money can be made by investing in amusements and attractions. Good to know that people also behaved themselves.

Let's just hope they don't overdo the hotel thing.

Last edited by D the Great, Friday, September 24, 2010 9:00 AM
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