Three-Way War Of The Wheels In Coney Island

09.12.12 Andy Cush

There’s a ferris wheel war on. The first shots were fired by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and “unofficial Coney Island mayor” Dick Zigun, who began lobbying for the proposed 600-foot Staten Island observation wheel to be moved to Coney Island. “The world’s largest Ferris wheel belongs in Coney,” said Zigun. “The city needs to stay focused on rebuilding Coney into a first class major tourist destination, it shouldn’t encourage competition with Coney within the five boroughs.” Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro fired back. “The people who are going to Coney Island aren’t from all over the world. They are from the five boroughs,” he said. “This wheel will be made for tourists. There’s not going to be amusements all around it, or hot dog stands.” Ouch.

Now, the owners of Coney Island’s famed Wonder Wheel are entering the fray, and they’re taking the side of the Staten Islanders. Their reasoning? If the newer, bigger wheel was placed in Coney Island, it would overshadow the old one. “Modern amusement parks may have several roller coasters, but there’s only room for one wheel,” said one spokeswoman for the ride. “Why would anyone want to build another?”

(Photo: Wally Gobetz/Flickr)