Thursday, August 16, 2007

Circus Says It Loved Coney Island. Really. Honest.

Circus at Night

You might recall the item about how Cole Bros. Circus didn't sell out its shows in Coney Island and how employees and circus goers were saying unkind things about Coney. Well, we got an email from Cole Bros. Circus VP of Administration Renee Storey, who says the circus really dug Coney Island and that its engagement was "successful." All of which is fine, but Chuck Werner, Cole Bros. senior marketing director, was paraphrased in the Brooklyn View saying that:
families did not attend at night because they feared bringing their children to an environment that, while booming during the day, is often crime-ridden at night.
He said very similar things to Kinetic Carnival about families possibly feeling unsafe and it being hard to park. We're guessing that left hand-right hand dichotomy is an internal matter for the circus to settle. In any case, here's the Storey email:
Cole Bros. Circus enjoyed a successful engagement in Coney Island, and looks forward to returning next year. In addition to its schedule of advertised shows, Cole Bros. Circus presented sold-out morning and early afternoon performances for children who attend religious camps. Attendance grew each day of the Cole Bros. Circus week-long stay, culminating in packed houses Thursday through Sunday, especially at its 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. shows. A majority of circus patrons used public transportation to visit the circus, evidenced by the waves of customers who lined up at the circus ticket office shortly after their trains arrived at the conveniently located Stillwell Ave. station. A few customers who attended the 8:00 p.m. show on Friday said they had difficulty finding a place to park, likely due to the huge crowds who arrive on Coney Island early in anticipation of the Friday night fireworks.

The circus is grateful to Deno’s for delaying the start of the fireworks, so that our patrons would have opportunity to exit the Big Top in time to view the wonderful display that really rocks the beach. Our circus families, especially the children, loved the fireworks, the amusements, the shore and the ocean, which was not only warm, but crystal clear. Staying at Coney Island was a treat for everyone on our show. The only complaint heard among our staff was with respect to weight gain. Living in proximity to numerous, great restaurants for a week, we indulged.

Manning the 1-800 circus info line, circus staff in Florida was surprised by the number of callers who asked for directions to the circus location in Coney Island. Our customer service representatives explained that the circus was located on Stillwell Avenue, between West 12th Street and Bowery, opposite Nathan’s. Numerous callers asked, “Where’s Nathan’s?” That surprised us, and made us think that, perhaps the circus attracted people who might not have visited Coney Island in the past.

Our experience assures us that Coney Island is a wonderful place. Judging by our crowds later in the week and the throngs of parents and kids on the boardwalk each evening, we learned that people seeking family entertainment will flock to Coney Island.
We could deconstruct this in many ways, but we'll simply say that we're amused by the image of people in Florida giving people in New York City directions to Coney Island and to Nathan's. In any case, that Cole Bros. official spin on Coney Island in its entirety.



Blogger JakeGould said...

Saying Renee Storey is a shill is obvious. But it needs to be pointed out on the Coney Island message board she continually dodged attempts to discuss animal abuse charges towards her organization. Her only "evidence" against animal abuse charges was a generic pseudo-study that said elephants at ciruses are "happy" because a "scientist" said they look "happy". Good grief! She was asked directly to address the specific charges against Cole Bros., and never did.

Then the circus came. Then the circus left.


Maybe attendance was "down" because nobody wanted to spend money going to a rinky dink no-name circus in the middle of August?

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coney Island is jewel to south brooklyn. Coney Island must go on with renovation of its area for bigger, safer and better luxurious living.

7:21 PM  

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