Making Big Bucks With A Merry-Go-Round

As you probably know, there is a big merry-go-round in the waterfront park in downtown Greenport. It’s the centerpiece of that town, in the same way that the Founders Monument is the centerpiece of Bridgehampton and Town Pond and Hook Mill define the center of East Hampton.

The merry-go-round was originally built for the employees of the Grumman Corporation, which had a test facility in Calverton for many years. Grumman eventually closed up shop, merged with Northrup Aircraft Incorporated and moved to Virginia. Among the things not taken was the merry-go-round, which made the children of the Grumman workers very happy at company picnics on the site. Grumman offered up the merry-go-round for $1 to any nearby municipality who would agree to use it. And they found a taker on the North Fork in the Village of Greenport. The mayor at the time, David Kapell, rebuilt the tumbledown waterfront as an urban renewal project, created a beautiful park and offered up merry-go-round rides to all takers on what was then named Mitchell Park after the historic old seafood restaurant and marina that once graced the property. It’s been a great success, to the tune of $80,000 in profits a year, according to Village Administrator Dave Abatelli. Rides on the merry-go-round, which is in a glass building by the water, can be had for $2.

Last week, at a Village Meeting, Abatelli proposed that the cost of a ride on it be increased from $2 to $2.25. The idea was batted around for awhile, but then the Mayor, David Nyce, said leave it alone.

“I don’t think we should be raising rates,” he said, according to The Suffolk Times

And that was the end of it. The matter didn’t even come up for a vote.

It seemed to me that the merry-go-round committee, and there is such a committee, ought to consider having their cake and eating it too. Why not increase the fare, but offer more times that it goes round and round?

It’s a win-win for everybody. If it goes around 50 times for $2, increase it to 55. That 10% increase would justify the extra quarter. The wonderful time would last a bit longer. And the moms, dads and kids would come off only slightly more dizzy than they do now.

And I would not accept the argument that if they speeded the thing up a bit, they could get in 55 times around in the same time it takes 50. No fair, that idea.

Finally, you’d have to get the word out. I recommend advertising in Dan’s Papers. Or try us online at danshamptons.com. You could do a video of people on the merry-go-round.

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