Hoping for the best
As City Councilman Mark Treyger pointed out, for the residents and businesses of Brooklyn's Coney Island neighborhood, which he represents, last year was very challenging. He said: "The epidemic and its aftermath led to the local unemployment rate reaching almost 30%". "In the same period, the proportion of empty premises previously occupied by small companies doubled", he added.
The lawmaker added that for Coney Island, the main role is played by its part where the amusement parks are located, the decision to reopen them from April 9 by the authorities could play a crucial role for the development of the entire economy. "Normally tourists were welcomed here for six months, but last year was the first year in history when such activities did not take place at all".
Luna Park alone, as the president and general manager of Central Amusement International Inc. recalled, employed about 1,200 people. "But last year they were laid off due to forced closure and a loss of more than 95% of profits", he stressed. "So I feel a great sense of relief that we will be able to start operations again".
Hope for a return to normalcy was also expressed by Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, who compared the scale of the problems plaguing the business with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. "However, we have weathered the storm and I think we can cope with the current one," she summarised.