Italian ride manufacturing giant Zamperla, which now operates the Coney Island Cyclone, has selected Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCII) to refurbish the classic roller coaster.
Zamperla's US subsidiary, Central Amusement International, was selected last year by New York authorities to take over operations of the aging wooden hybrid coaster. At the time, it pledged to invest large sums of money in restoring the ride, which was first opened on June 26, 1927.
GCII has built a glowing reputation in the amusement industry during the past few years following a string of successful wooden coaster installations and refurbishments. It has proposed to make some small adjustments to the Cyclone's profile, in order to make it a more comfortable ride experience. Inevitably, this has caused some controversy among fans of the ride.
The restoration project will be broken into phases to enable the Cyclone to continue to operate during Coney Island's summer season. The full replacement of the coaster's track is expected to take four to five years, and the company is also considering replacing the ride's trains.
Central Amusement International also operates Luna Park, which sits across the street from the Cylone. The park is named after a previous amusement park which operated at Coney Island between 1903 and 1944. The original park played a key role in establishing amusement parks as fixtures of coastal resorts, with the current version making its debut in 2010.