Zamperla named operator of New York's Coney Island

Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:48 AM | Contributed by Jeff

New York city has chosen Italian-based company Zamperla USA to become the new amusement park operator for Coney Island. The company was among several others vying for the operating rights, including Ripley's Believe or Not and Steel Pier.

Read more from NY1.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:49 AM

I can't be the only one who finds this exceptionally weird. I mean, they make rides, but have they ever run a park?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:57 AM

All I have to say is Thank God it wasn't Steel Pier. What a freaking dump that place is.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:02 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Europa Park is run by MACK. I know they aren't the same company, but maybe that will offer some kind of comparison to how Zamperla will handle this. Has anyone ever been to Europa?

Last edited by Jeff Bachiochi, Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:04 PM
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:50 PM

Zamperla has been operating Victorian Gardens in Central Park since 2003 and they co-own a park in Italy near their factory. (

Also, Zamperla has been looking for a venue to showcase their new rides to potential North American customers - what better place than Coney Island?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:02 PM

Zamperla took over in 2008 or 2009 a park in Italy and they've been doing an excellent job at it.

The Mack family indeed run Europa Park. They turned a small park into the biggest park in Europe and they're not stupid, tapping other major manufacturers to build rides they do not do for their park. Zierer for a Wave Swinger, Huss for a swinging ship, Intamin for an amazing river rapid ride and B&M for an hyper coaster.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:07 PM

Indeed, Zamperla own Minitalia Leolandiapark in Italy. The park is beautifully landscaped, and pretty nice on the whole, though the rides therein are pretty awful. Hopefully they'll buy some decent hardware for Coney Island.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:25 PM

The article doesn't even mention the Albert family...AFAIK, Carol Albert had submitted paperwork to run the park on site as they had for so long prior to Thor/Sitt, etc.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:35 PM

It just seems like a serious conflict of interest that a ride manufacturer would dictate which rides are purchased. It's like a double win.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:43 PM

Yeah, I'm hoping they make a Europa Park out of it rather than another Minitalia Leolandiapark. Not holding my breath though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:12 PM

As long as the park is safe, and makes as much money as possible, I fail to see the conflict of interest. I can imagine their is a significant cost savings associated with having your own factory and engineers.

Last edited by Fun, Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:17 PM
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:18 PM

Uh, it's not Zamperla's money to spend on rides, it's the city's. Government has to bid stuff out (or at least, that's the ethical thing that most local government does).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:26 PM

Actually it is Zamperla's money. Zamperla will be granted a 10 year lease on the properties - the city will provide the infrastructure (electrical, repaving, plumbing) - but all of the ride installations/theming/etc will be on Zamperla's dime. Additionally, there is a profit sharing plan built into it - the city will get a cut of every dollar Zamperla makes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:38 PM

This might partly explain it.

"Zamperla, whose CEO of their US division is on the CIDC’sAmusement Advisory Board, is considered the front runner by otherpotential bidders. Some of them were saying “done deal” due to theshort time frame and terms of the RFP."

The article does mention that the presidents of Ripley and the Steel Pier are also members of the Board, as is Kieran Burke (aren't you glad he didn't get it?), It would be interesting to see what the various proposals look like. One advanatage Zamperla would have as a manufacturer is the ability to swap out rides pretty quickly if any prove not to be popular, or even just to keep things new.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:39 PM

I'd expect Zamperla to get the rides they got in stock as well as used rides they took as trade-in to the site ASAP, to get something going for this summer.

According to their website, they got a "jumping star" in stock, a used dumbo style ride and 2 rollercoasters. One is the Vekoma Whirlwind from that finnish park and the other a Galaxy. If the Galaxy is from the US, I'd think they would get it to Coney Island for this summer.


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