Wonder Wheel Advocates Don't Want Staten Island Observation Wheel to Come to Coney Island

Wheel wars! Iconic Wonder Wheel fans tell observation wheel to keep away

The Brooklyn Paper
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There isn’t enough room in Coney Island for two big wheels, the owners of the landmarked Deno’s Wonder Wheel said this week as they lashed out against some thrill seekers’ plans to bring a new 600-foot observation disk to the People’s Playground.

Both Borough President Markowitz and Dick Zigun, the unofficial mayor of Coney Island say the observation wheel currently planned for Staten Island would be a fine addition to the amusement area, but operators of the 150-feet Wonder Wheel say the 92-year-old ride featured in the movie “The Warriors,” is and always should be a Coney Island original.

“Modern amusement parks may have several roller coasters, but there’s room for one wheel,” a ride spokeswoman said. “Why would anyone want to build another?”

Staten Island’s proposed wheel would rival the London Eye and become the tallest observation ride in the world if the city decides to cash in on the Rock’s view of the Manhattan skyline and go ahead with its construction.

But Coney Island boosters argued that the move that would steal the People’s Playground’s spotlight and pit the outer boroughs in a wheel war.

“The city needs to stay focused on rebuilding Coney into a first-class major tourist destination,” said Zigun. “It shouldn’t encourage competition with Coney within the five boroughs.”

But if such a competition took place, Brooklyn would cream Staten Island, crowed the borough’s biggest booster.

“The city should consider what location will provide the biggest bang for the buck, and the strongest economic return, and no doubt that place is Coney Island,” Borough President Markowitz said.

Zigun added that if the observation wheel was put in Coney Island, it would stand a respectful distance away from the Wonder Wheel to avoid a revolving rivalry that would challenge the historic rides uninterrupted reign.

Yet there may not be any competition at all: Observation wheels are quite different than traditional Ferris wheels.

Instead of sitting in swaying, open-air carriages, observation wheel riders sit in fixed, bus-sized capsules that can carry more than 20 people, according to manufacturer.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at
Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ledly J from Bath Beach says:
And that's why....
Sept. 11, 2012, 12:36 am
Ian from 11211 says:
Can't we let Staten Island at least have one nice thing?
Sept. 11, 2012, 9:32 am
Malembi from BK says:
How gay? I want to know the actual amount.
Sept. 11, 2012, 10:03 am
ty from pps says:
Sept. 11, 2012, 12:39 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
I hope Staten Island does build it. The borough is a great place to live but has few marquee attractions to bring tourist dollars its way. However I'd say the main point of riding SI's observation wheel would not be to view the Manhattan skyline but to gaze upon our beloved Brooklyn ;-).
Sept. 11, 2012, 3:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Wherever, this wheel would be planned for, I think it's unnecessary. Why exactly does NYC need an observation wheel anyway? It seem to serve the idea for tourists more than it does for locals. Either borough president should be thinking of schools, hospitals, and senior centers, which have much more priority than this thing. Both Brooklyn and Staten Island have a good number of sites that doesn't need such a boondoggle like a giant wheel. Does anyone really think that one will go just to see this wheel? There are already observation decks on both the Empire State and GE Buildings. Being in such isolated areas could actually make this wheel be visited less, not more if you asked me.
Sept. 11, 2012, 5:56 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Oh my freakin' god. Shut up. Why do you say stupid things?

(a) Do you know what boondoggle means? If you say yes, please explain how this is one?
(b) Why would an amusement be only for tourists? Even if that's the case, what is wrong with that?
(c) You do know the Empire State building is IN Manhattan right? Can you see the empire state building from inside the empire state building? Hmmm?
(c) What part of Coney Island is "isolated"?
(d) If you're not stupid, why do you say such stupid things. Are you drunk? Due for another dose of your meds?
Sept. 11, 2012, 7:40 pm
BunnynSunny from The Hill says:
La Dee Dah.
Sept. 11, 2012, 8:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, a boondoggle is something that happens to cost a lot, especially even more than originally. An observation disc is just not needed. On the City Room, I already discussed why Staten Island didn't need it, because they do have actual sites that are worth visiting, and the same implies for Brooklyn. Most will probably look at it as a possible eyesore if it was placed in Staten Island. I am not saying that tourists don't matter, but they shouldn't be give first priority here, those that are here all year long should. Tourism is a boom-bust in that it will be up at one point, but down at another. I know your friend Bloomberg likes to think of the tourists first. As for the ESB, you can only go up to the 86th floor, so you can see the top of it just from standing on its observation deck. On a side note, you really need to chill sometimes and layoff the personal attacks.
Sept. 11, 2012, 9:07 pm
Brandon Bouylan from Bensonhurst says:
The city should seriously thing about dismantling and taking down the wonder wheel. More people would enjoy the wheel the mayor is proposing. More than that old rusty relic from the 1800s that barely anyone rides anymore. When George Tillyoue built the wonder wheel, it was the largest in the world. That is no longer the case. At least 37 other wheels are now larger. It is no longer a wonder, is it? TAKE IT DOWN ALREADY!! And put the giant observation wheel in it's spot! Build something at Coney Island people in this century want to ride.

The name of the game is luring tourists back to Coney Island. That is whjat the new wheel will do.
Sept. 11, 2012, 10:25 pm
inez from bed stuy says:
How about we put two wheels on Staten Island and roll it over to New Jersey forever.
Sept. 12, 2012, 9:25 am
Dizz Bigsby from Dizztown says:
I like cake!
Sept. 12, 2012, 1:47 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The Wonder Wheel can be easily renovated. I don't see why that can't be done, and it's probably cheaper anyway. I see this observation wheel as just another one of Bloomberg's pet projects. He can't seem to find money for schools and hospitals that are on the verge of closing, but has plenty for his rich buddies and pet projects. If Bloomberg really wants this so much, then maybe he should pay for it himself instead of making the taxpayers spend it, because I am sure that he has the money for it himself.
Sept. 12, 2012, 5:04 pm
nancy from coney says:
hey brandon
you can not take down the wonderwheel its a landmark ding bat do your research before you open your mouth and apparently you dont go 2 coney because if you did you would know that the wheel always has a line around the corner with people waiting to ride it also i know the vourderis family and the take damn great care of that wheel you alway see them working on all their rides especially the wheel and they are great people that care for the community i also think they should bring the observation wheel in 2 after all coney is the peoples playground look that up 2 brandon whats staten island got not much of anything
Sept. 12, 2012, 9:07 pm
ty from pps says:
TAL... It's just painful how dumb you are. Painful.
Sept. 12, 2012, 11:09 pm
Reed Der from eve says:
Tal, a boondoggle for WHOM? What makes you think the city is paying for it to get built???
Sept. 14, 2012, 1:20 am
Brandon Bouylan from Bensonhurst says:
Nancy the nannie
You know nothing about the landmark law. Why don't you look it up and read it. Landmark status can be revoked by a 41 - 10 vote by the city council, a 35- 16 vote by the council and aproval by the mayor, or a vote of approval by the LPC. In the past 20 years 31 landmarks had their status revoked, including the historic Dugghan house in Queens and the Hayden Planetarium. Both have been torn down since. If the mayor wants a landmark torn down he can twist enough arms to make it happen. Guliani had the parachute drops landmark status revoked. The only thing that stopped him from tearing it down was a lawsuit by local residents who said the lead paint falling off the structure would polute the neighborhood. The landmark status had to be reinstated in 2001.

The line for the proposed wheel would be 100 times longer. It is time Bloomberg revoked landmark status for every structure in Coney Island. We need a steel coaster, not the old wooden Cyclone, the observation wheel, and new buildings rathet than those old crumbling buildings from the 1870s.
Sept. 14, 2012, 8:22 am
nancy from coney says:
listen buddy i dont care what you type there you know nothing about coney island and what its all about and ding bat if you knew anything about coney you would know that its not called the parachutte drops its the parrachutte jump and back in 02 they renovated it and are doing it again
read the bklyn couier and other resorces they are rebuilding coney and for your info people come from all over the world 2 ride the cyclone btw they just renovated they cyclone its apparent you havent or if ever been 2 coney and do us all a favor stay in bensonhurst coney 2 much 4 u u want a steel coaster go 2 great adventure and im not being a nanny im just putting a clown like u in ur place and getting on you for knocing a wonderful place and wonder people especially like the vourderies you couldnt put up with what they have 2 do taking care of all those rides and dealing with all those people is not an easy job and the cyclone and the wonderwheel arent going anywhere and neither is coney as it will always be the greatest place on earth if you want2 keep shootingur big mouth off on a sublect you know nothing about keep it up ill hve a comeback 4 you everytime coney is history and the old and new can coexhist together
Sept. 14, 2012, 9:47 pm
John peterson from Coney island says:
I agree with Brandon Tear down the Wonder Wheel. It's a WONDER that they are still in business NO ONE RIDES IT!!! Coney island needs news attractions!!!
Sept. 14, 2012, 9:51 pm
nancy from coney says:
another yahoo that knows nothing have you been 2 coney says ur from coney but are u really john the lines are huge i dont know when youve been there 2 say theres no one riding it but ive never seen it not busy and the rides are well looked after and ddlike i have said the new can exhist with the old why would you wanna tear down a beautiful thing like the ww its the only one with swinging and stationary cars what a bunch of nuckle heads stay away from my wheel and my coney i take it personally when you trash my coney
Sept. 14, 2012, 10:27 pm
Kyle from Coney Island says:

Who else do we know from Bensonhurst?

Maybe someone who has torn down everything he bought?

Someone who closed down every business he got his paws on?

Someone who wants the amusement district replaced with condos because he thinks rides don't make enough money?

I wonder who that could be from Bensonhurst?
Sept. 14, 2012, 11:09 pm
Horace Bullard from Bronx says:
They tore my ride down why not the Wonder Wheel. What you got to say about that Nancy
Sept. 15, 2012, 1:55 am
nancy from coney says:
if your the nuckle head that owns the shore hotel id love to tell you off face 2 face that guy is letting property rot away because hes a selfish pig the shore has had scalfolding around it 4 years cause hewont repair it when it could be used for so many things and nothing but homeless peoplelive there harasrassingpeoplecause itsshelter 4 them and the roller coaster that was torn down was a pile of junk that deserved 2 be torn down because no one took care ofit the ww iswell taken looked after and the vorderis family care for the community and they are wonderful people i know them peronally now anyone have anythingelse 2 say bring it ill always have an answer 4 u but unlike u people i dont sit on a computer all day i have a life i suggest u all get one
Sept. 15, 2012, 7:06 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Rock on Nancy!!! i just love these maroons who know nothing about brooklyn telling us locals who were born and raised here and lived in nyc all our lives telling us what to do. the ww is packed - i was there a few weeks ago.
Sept. 15, 2012, 8:25 am
Janet from North Williamsburg says:
I agree cOney needs new attractions and rides with the exception of Luna park what is old there is not working. Out with the old in with the new!!
Sept. 15, 2012, 3:12 pm
Boggy from Bath Beach says:
The Wonder Wheel (which has inferior copies in Japan and Disneyland) is one of the best-maintained rides in Coney Island. Since it was built in 1920 (not the 1800s like Brandon Bouylan thinks), there has not been one single accident. It is an iconic part of the Coney Island skyline and of what will soon be the only privately-owned amusement parks left on Coney. I disagree with Marty about building the observation Wheel in Coney. The real estate needed for something as big as that would be better used for a new coaster. Brandon Bouylan also thinks that The Cyclone should be torn down and replaced with a new steel coaster. The Cyclone has been a major attraction in Coney since it was built in 1927. Zamperla has done a major restoration on half of it, the other half to be done over the winter. There is always a line for it, so I guess it is still popular. I agree with Kyle one the fact that Brandon Bouylan's attitude is a lot like Joe Sitt's. I still wonder what happened to "Joey Coney Island" to make him hate Coney so much that he wants to publicly destroy it one building at a time?
Sept. 17, 2012, 4:50 am
Johnny from Coney says:
There is Dick the marionette being manipulated by the city. See how the city pulls his strings and opens his mouth and you hear how the city is trying to make Denos sell.

See how Dick the marionette stabs his former friends in the back… stab…. Stab…. Stab…

Dick announced his retirement. Not soon enough in this persons opinion. Coney needs a independent spokemans, not a marionette for the city.
Sept. 17, 2012, 8:24 pm
John from East village says:
Dick is a good person and well verse in coney island lore and history. Without dick there would be no mermaid parade!!!
Sept. 20, 2012, 9:59 pm

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