UPDATE… October 11, 9:20 am…Yes, Lynn’s Trapeze will remain Lynn Kelly’s even though she’s leaving Coney Island for Staten Island! We received word on Monday morning from Zamperla CEO Valerio Ferrari: “A customer broke the sign. It will be replaced once we decide to renew or not all safety signs.” The altered sign was the object of intense speculation over the weekend…
On Sunday, ATZ received a flurry of messages from the Coney Island Rumor Mill about the sign on Lynn’s Trapeze in Luna Park. Something had happened to it overnight: The name of the ride had been sawed off the top! Take a look at the photo of the Mermaid Parade Kiddie flume below, for an example of intact signage.
Lynn’s Trapeze is a Wave Swinger with a center pole graced with historic images of Coney Island. It was named after Lynn Kelly, the president of the Coney Island Development Corporation, when the park opened in May. Kelly oversaw the redevelopment of Coney Island and was fond of referring to Luna Park as her park. But last week she resigned to take the job of CEO with the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island. Our sources wondered if Kelly lost the naming right to the ride when she left her job with the City?
ATZ contacted Luna Park CEO Valerio Ferrari to ask about the sign, but we haven’t heard back yet. We can only speculate that Luna Park is about to add a commemorative plaque thanking Lynn Kelly and the flying carousel is not about to be renamed for somebody we’ve never heard of.
Or should naming rights to Luna’s rides be put up for sale to generate revenue? After all, stadiums like Coney Island’s former Keyspan, now MCU Park, aren’t the only ones to sell naming rights. Westchester County- owned Rye Playland offers annual naming rights for the park’s Dragon Coaster and other rides. The new Luna Park is a partnership with the City of New York, which owns the land and receives annual rent plus a percentage of the gross; the arrangement represents a new model for government-owned amusement parks, which are a rarity.
This brings us to a related question on the minds of Coney Island Rumor Mill members. When the restored B & B Carousell is set up in the new Steeplechase Plaza next year, will it still be called the B & B Carousell? Or will naming rights be sold? The initials belonged to Bishoff and Brienstein, who owned and operated the carousel from the 1930’s through the early 1970s. The ride was sold to Jimmy McCullough, who sold it to the City of New York in 2005. Carousell with two “L’s” was the spelling favored by Coney Island ride designer and builder William F. Mangels.
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