Friday, March 19, 2010

"the old-fashioned Ferris wheel"

In the midst of one of the worst recessions in decades, tiny beach-side amusement parks along the California coast are reporting robust business and big crowds while most of the state's big theme parks have seen shrinking revenue.

Small, privately owned seaside parks, such as Pacific Park at the pier in Santa Monica (above), Belmont Park in San Diego and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, don't have multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns or 3-D attractions as do Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. But they boast something even more appealing to penny-pinching tourists: Free admission.

As a result, vacationers are turning to old-fashioned Ferris wheels and carousels over expensive, high-tech thrill rides.

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