NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other New York officials headed to Jones Beach Tuesday to announce major upgrades on its 90th anniversary.
It’s part of a $100 million renovation.
If you havent been to Jones Beach in recent years, you really haven’t been to Jones Beach, reported CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
“This is a completely new Jones Beach, and we’re so excited to celebrate it today and all summer long,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.
$100 million have been invested over the last eight years, and there’s been a dramatic transformation. On Tuesday, the latest attraction, Wild Play Adventure Park, was revealed.
Watch: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Officials Announce Jones Beach Upgrades
“This summer we’ll be working on additional improvements to the park that will be completed in 2020 including a $25 million energy and nature center,” Kulleseid said.
“This unprecedented $100 million state investment in Jones Beach has spurred the private investment in the 700 foot long zipline and adventure course we’re here celebrating today. This facility, which we’re calling the Wild Play Adventure Course, includes a series of adventure courses: Log ladders, ziplines, cargo nets, rope swings, tightropes, swinging logs, wobbly bridges and more,” Kulleseid said. “There will also be two 40-foot ‘What’s To Fear’ jumps, abbreviated as ‘WTF’ … where guests will jump from a platform and experience a free fall before the system lowers them to the ground. And finally, there will be the quad side-by-side 700-foot-long ziplines.”
“This is an exciting day. This is a true milestone in the history of this great park,” Kulleseid said.
“$100 million to rebuild Jones Beach. That is a lot of money. But it was an investment well spent,” Cuomo said. “I have a lot of great memories about Jones Beach. What people have to remember is what Jones Beach really did for New York, and what it did for millions and millions of people. I grew up in Queens but we came to Jones Beach. That was the place that you went.”
Cuomo called Jones Beach “a public monument that will change people’s lives.”
“I’m going to be the first person down that zipline,” Cuomo said. “You wonder what perks does the governor of New York get? Not many, I can tell you. A lot of aggravation, a lot of criticism. But he does get to be the first person on the new zipline.”
Since Superstorm Sandy, Jones Beach has been rebuilt, and a $5 million park for all ages, a public-private partnership, is the latest investments.
The governor says investment in our parks is so important because it really affects lives, and makes a difference.
“This is a hwole different kind of Jones Beach. Restaurants, adventures for kids,” he said.
“If everything goes well for the governor, I’m plan on being the second person to go down. I’m going to be watching closely,” joked Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “This investment, continuing to push the boundaries, and to create unique special places like this is so important to us because Long Islanders are here because of this. A lot of reasons, you know, but when you may be sitting in traffic, or not happy about a tax bill, and you’re worrying about taxes as we all do. But you come here, and you come to our parks, and you come out onto the water, and you say this is why I am here.”
The adventure course officially opens July 4, and it was built to fit into the existing landscape. The natural setting will return, including grasses, birds, rabbits and frogs.