Coney Island merchants charge deception in eviction battle with Zamperla

The eight businesses fighting eviction from the Coney Island Boardwalk charged yesterday that amusement park operator Zamperla duped them into thinking they stood a chance at keeping their spots last year, when in reality the company had always planned to take over. According to the Daily News, the charges came yesterday as a court battle between the merchants — including Ruby’s Bar and Shoot the Freak — and Zamperla was postponed again. Attorney Marc Aronson, who is representing the merchants, called Zamperla’s promise to allow those who submitted good business plans to stay on the Boardwalk “a show and a sham… their mind was already made up.” Indeed, Zamperla wrote in a proposal to the city in 2009 that it “intends to assume Boardwalk concession contracts… [which] will be combined and integrated into the food and beverage operations of Luna Park and Scream Zone,” court documents show. But Zamperla contends that the language in its proposal doesn’t mean decisions about ousting the businesses had already been made. Ultimately, two Boardwalk businesses were allowed to stay, while eight were given the boot. [NYDN]

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