2005_08_cycloneconey.jpgOoh: The Parks Department is looking to rent out the Coney Island icon, The Cyclone. While the current leaseholder for the Cyclone, Astroland, says the city is happy with their performance, with an Astroland spokesman saying Astroland owners, the Albert family, "do an excellent job of keeping it in prime operating condition, despite the extremely hostile environment to both wood and metal." Not to mention the riders themselves. The city is required to bid out the Cyclone's contact every ten years, so the city is adding things like new brakes (very important!) and new ticket booths as improvements to the contract. According to the Post, the Cyclone's current annual rent is $106,000, or 12% of the gross revenue; last year, the ride brought in $1.2 million. Gothamist imagines that Astroland will do what they need to in order to keep the contract, but our fear would be some corporation takes it over and call it "The Commerce Bank Cyclone" - we hope there's a clause that says an operator can't change the name!

Bids are due September 9. And here's the Cyclone website at Astroland.

Photograph by Tien Mao