Updated 05/26/2012 03:12 PM
Coney Island Helps Kick Off City's Summer Beach Season
14 miles of city beaches officially opened Saturday around New York City, including Coney Island, which will see some new additions this summer. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
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The unofficial kick off to summer that happens every Memorial Day weekend at Coney Island is an annual rite of passage.
14 miles of city beaches officially opened Saturday, with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Sunny skies and warm temperatures drew sun lovers. Some even braved the chilly Atlantic.
Last year, Coney Island had one of its most successful summer seasons on record, offering something for everyone.
The world-famous Cyclone has even more company this summer. Two new rides are expected to open at the Scream Zone. One, the Coney Island Raceway, consists of 32 new go karts that are a throwback to the Coney Island of years past. The other, the Boardwalk Flyer, is a first for the area.
"The boardwalk flyer is a very unique ride," said Valerio Ferrari, the president of Zamperla USA. "It's the first time present in the New York area. You find this in very large theme parks around the country but for locals it's never been around so it's an extremely nice attraction."
New businesses and old favorites are also attracting visitors to the boardwalk. The Brooklyn Beach shop is a unique new retail space. And Ruby's, a staple on the boardwalk in Coney Island for 77 years, was allowed to stay despite threats of eviction under the promise it would follow through with much-needed renovations.
"We did more than a little work," said Mike Sarrel, the owner of Ruby's. "We did a substantial substantial amount of work. So the fact that we are open today, Memorial Day weekend, is a miracle quite honestly."
Coney Island isn't done yet. There are plans for several more businesses to open and plenty more rides to come in the future. That's sure to keep attracting crowds to the city's most storied beach.