But ride advocates hoping for a hard line against the height of hi−rise hotels inside the amusement district were sorely disappointed.
“We just couldn’t make this work,” Recchia conceded.
Dick Zigun, the unofficial “mayor of Coney Island,” has been pressing the city to zone new hotels north of Surf Avenue and add more space for outdoor amusements.“I think we lost badly on the hotels,” Zigun said. “I think they dropped very clear hints that once they buy Thor’s property, there’s reason to believe that they’ll add more rides. There are some upcoming meetings on landmarking historic buildings. So we lost on the hotels, but I don’t think we’ve got a decision yet about rides or historic buildings.”
But in talking about those ongoing negotiations, Recchia emphasized the importance of the kinds of indoor attractions like movie theaters and bowling alleys that ride advocates have long criticized as being weak draws.
“One thing that we’ve been saying is we want to make this an all year−round destination, not just open amusements,” Recchia said. “That’s the problem with Coney Island. In the wintertime it’s desolate. Nobody wants to go there. We want to bring in movie theaters, bowling alleys, maybe an indoor water park and hotel.”
Recchia, however, refused to classify this week’s action as a loss for ride advocates.“I believe at the end of the day by July 29, everybody is going to be happy and the ride advocates are going to be happy,” Recchia said.