A Renovated Coney Island??

Well, I’m surprised I read this first in a UK newspaper, but, apparently, there are some big changes headed for Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Most Americans probably know the park more for its past than its present: either its heyday 60 or so years ago, or its cameo in the movie The Warriors. But its future might be looking up–depending on who you ask.

A developer named Thor Equities has bought up large chunks of the area and is cleaning house. Apparently, the famous 80-year-old, Cyclone wooden roller coaster will stay, but much of the kitsch, old shops, junk vendors, and t-shirt shops will be torn down. Astroland will probably close. And, in its place? Twenty-one new theme park rides, costing $250m, to be opened by 2011.

And that’s not all: expect a Vegas-style megahotel, an indoor water park, and new luxury apartment developments as part of the project.