Ousted Coney Island businesses plan rally

Patrons of several longtime Coney Island businesses that were recently denied lease renewals are planning a rally at noon Saturday. The patrons are hoping to make Central Amusement International reconsider its plans to shut down some classic Coney Island businesses.

On Monday, CAI told 11 Coney Island boardwalk eateries, shops and concessions that their leases would not be renewed, and that they had 15 days to vacate.

The businesses that are closing include the 76-year-old Ruby’s Bar, a paintball attraction and a beer garden.

CAI told WNYC radio that it plans to invest millions of dollars to make Coney Island a year-round destination, with shopping, dining and entertainment. No official plans for the boardwalk redesign have been released, but CAI says it is seeking tenants who would open sit-down restaurants that could operate year-round.

The company opened the new Luna Park amusement park this year at Coney Island with 19 new rides and entertainment. A second CAI amusement park that features thill rides – called Scream Zone – is slated to open in 2011.

In September, the City of New York announced a record season for Coney island’s Amusement District, with more than 400,000 visitors this summer.

[Image credit: Flickr user edenpictures]