Coney Island’s blow-up park is officially deflated.
The city has nixed plans for Water Slide Beach, a much-touted inflatable waterpark on the beach featuring water rides, bungee jumping and a lounging area, after the state demanded a special permit that would ensure the land beneath it didn’t head out to sea.
It had been scheduled to open last summer, in time for the July 4 weekend, but was stalled after the state Department of Environmental Conservation said the city didn’t obtain a variance to build structures on the beach, which is susceptible to erosion caused by waves and heavy storms.
State spokesman Tom Panzone said the city was asked to find a new location for the park, “but decided not to come up with an alternate site,” killing the project.
Parks Department spokesman Philip Abramson shot back that because of the beachfront’s status as a state Coastal Erosion Hazard Area, “getting a waiver [was] not feasible.”
“Therefore, Parks and the concessionaire have mutually agreed to end the contract at the end of the current beach season,” Abramson said. “We will not be moving forward with another adventure” park at the beach.
The water park was planned to have featured three water slides, including the 35-foot “Steepelchase Slide,” the largest of its kind in the world.
The decision ends a six-year effort by the city to find a hip, action-themed attraction for the beach, to go along with the Luna Park amusement zone and a string of new restaurants and stores that will transform the boardwalk.
Anthony Gach, the business owner chosen to develop the site, says he spent more than $250,000 on the failed venture.
“It’s a huge loss,” said Gach, who owns Party Magic USA, a special events company.
“We put a lot of time and energy into this.”
Gach added that he hopes he can find a new site for his park — though the People’s Playground was an ideal spot.
“It would have been something exceptional for Coney Island,” Gach said.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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