Brooklyn Paper excerpts -
The city may be about to cede control of the Coney Island Boardwalk to a private group.
The parks department, which controls the neighborhood’s iconic
Riegelmann Boardwalk, is drawing up plans that would let an outside
group take over all event permitting — and possibly more — for the
91-year-old public space, according to sources.
One Alliance member said the group is in talks with the city.
“The Alliance for Coney Island has been in negotiations with the
parks department,” said Dick Zigun, Coney Island’s unofficial mayor and
the director of the arts organization Coney Island USA.
Zigun’s Mermaid Day Parade is by far the Boardwalk’s biggest event,
but he said Coney Island USA won’t enter a bid and will instead support
the Alliance’s application.
The Alliance did not confirm that it was talking with the city, but
its director said the group’s primary goal is making Coney Island fun
“We are first and foremost dedicated to helping Coney Island, whether
it’s with supplementary sanitation or public Boardwalk programming like
the Free Friday Night Fireworks,” said Alliance executive director
Johanna Zaki. “The Alliance for Coney Island looks forward to continuing
our work in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
across multiple initiatives for the lasting growth and benefit of the
The city ceding permitting rights alone to an outside group would be precedent-setting.