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Goodbye, Steel Pier in Atlantic City NJ.

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Big T mr Trump is closing the pier.



park info here http://www.rcdb.com/pd211.htm


Trump to redevelop another remnant of ‘America's Favorite Playground'

By DONALD WITTKOWSKI Staff Writer, (609) 272-7258


ATLANTIC CITY — Fifty years have passed since a 10-year-old boy named John Baker visited Atlantic City on a summer day to enjoy the amusements on the Steel Pier.


Baker's memories have faded over time, but one thing he remembers is the extraordinary sight of a horse and its rider plunging off a tower and splashing 40 feet below into the water.


“Who could possibly forget the famous diving horse?” recalled Baker, now 60, who returned to the Steel Pier this past week for the first time since his boyhood visit in 1956.


Baker, of Nazareth, Pa., brought his 10-year-old grandson, Daniel, and 5-year-old granddaughter, Brianna, with him. Unlike during Baker's childhood, the grandchildren couldn't see the diving horse performance — the iconic equine that symbolized the oddities and wonders of the Steel Pier has long since faded into history.


Soon, the Steel Pier itself will follow the diving horse, vanishing into the past after a storied century-long run as the “Showplace of the Nation.” The Boardwalk amusement park at Pennsylvania Avenue is scheduled to close for good after the summer season to make way for a redevelopment project for the neighboring Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.


Steel Pier's demise continues Atlantic City's evolution from a family-friendly resort town to an adults-only gambling mecca. Just three years ago, the city ditched its G-rated “America's Favorite Playground” slogan for the risque “Atlantic City: Always Turned On.”

“If this city becomes nothing but a gambling town, there will be no reason to bring the children here,” Baker complained. “If they're going to redevelop Steel Pier, it will be a big mistake. Where will the children go?”


Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which owns the Taj Mahal and the Steel Pier, is considering plans to build new retail and entertainment attractions and a luxury condominium and hotel project geared toward the well-heeled gambling crowd. Another option, though less likely, would be to add casino space to the Steel Pier, Trump Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer James B. Perry said.


“We have a company board meeting in November, and I suspect sometime after that we might have some announcements,” Perry said of the pier's redevelopment.


David G. Schwartz, a gaming expert and historian, said the redevelopment plan could succeed with tourists if it tastefully combines the Steel Pier's older charms with its modern appeal.


“Some people want to take their kids to a log flume. Some people want to play blackjack. Some people want to take their kids on a roller coaster. Some people want to go to a nightclub,” said Schwartz, an Atlantic City native who is the director of the Gaming Studies Research Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.


While making a publicity appearance in Atlantic City last month, Donald Trump promised a lavish makeover of the pier to complement the Taj Mahal's ongoing expansion and renovation, including a $250 million hotel tower opening in 2008.


“We will be making some exciting announcements for the pier,” Trump said. “The pier is unique. It juts out more than 900 feet into the ocean.”


At 1,000 feet long, the Steel Pier cuts into the waves like an oceanliner plying the seas. In its heyday, it was much longer. A 1969 fire shortened its size by about a third.


Opening in 1898, the Steel Pier delighted crowds for decades with big-name entertainers ranging from Al Jolson to Frank Sinatra, daredevil stunt performers and hard-to-believe animal acts that included the diving horse and Rex the Wonder Dog, a water-skiing canine in the 1930s. One memorable oddity was the diving bell, which took thrillseekers underwater in murky seas.


The Steel Pier's current incarnation, though vastly different from its glory days as the Showplace of the Nation in the early and mid-1900s, retains the feel of an old-fashioned amusement park.


Perched atop colorful horses — unlike the diving variety, these are only figurines — children smile and let out shrieks of joy while whirling around a carousel. Carnival-like games of chance offer stuffed animals and live goldfish as prizes. Kiddie cars spin around a track. A log flume and a Ferris wheel treat riders to dazzling views of the ocean.


“Our kids enjoy the beach and Boardwalk, but they also like to come here,” said Mike Kastner, a Beach Haven resident accompanied by his son, Axel, 12, and daughters Chloe, 9, and Laurel, 7.


Kastner fears Steel Pier's closing will mean the end of family entertainment in Atlantic City. He urged Trump to scrap the redevelopment plan so that the pier could be preserved for children's amusements.


“I think it would be a shame,” Kastner said. “I hope he rethinks his plans. If he doesn't, it would be a bad idea.”


Similarly angered by the redevelopment plan is Anthony Catanoso, whose family has operated the Steel Pier amusement park under contract with Trump for about 15 years.


“We're upset about it,” Catanoso said. “We're not happy to lose the pier. It's going to be a big loss to the city and the children.”


Catanoso noted the pier's place in community charity work, including days when the amusement park is opened to local children for free and to reward students for perfect attendance in school. All that, he said, will disappear when the pier closes.


“My feeling is, as long as there's a beach and Boardwalk here, there should be family entertainment. We are that family entertainment,” he said. “We will hate to go. We'll miss Atlantic City, and I think the families will miss us.”

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I feel bad that the park is closing but I hardly went to the pier even though I go to Atlantic City a lot during the summer. The park is dirty, feels like a carnival (rigged skill games with operators asking everyone to play their games) and I don't even feel safe going on rides there (especially after the log flume incident last year)


The bad side of this is that there becoming less and less for families in Atlantic City. Tivoli Pier (indoor park inside Trop World Casino) has been closed for years, the Ocean One Mall was redesigned into a high class shopping area (no more arcade) and Trump Taj Mahal even had a rule that if you are under 18, you aren't allowed to wander the casino (not the actual casino floor but the building like going into shops).

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That would be great, and would be another activity for the late fall/winter/early spring time of year (the piers at Ocean City close in early October which will now be the closest amusements) when there isn't anything to do in the area except go to a casino

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^That's what I mean. They built one here at PKI, a great bear lodge, which I think would be good in the winter, IF they allow locals to go, but I've heard mixed reports on that. One at a resort city, like ACY, would do quite well if you ask me.

-James "The ocean is pretty cold in the fall/winter" Dillaman

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Its allways a shame to see a park close up. Seems its the sign of the times as people say. Hard to see where a casino atmosphere could be consdered a family atmosphere just cause it has a beach and ocean.


Looks like I am going to have to make a special trip to the pier while I am up in the area next week. I wonder when its closing the doors for good.

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If the water park didn't allow locals, I don't think it would do that well. There are a ton of vacation property owners in the area (Atlantic City and the other cities on the island including Ventnor, Margate and Longport) that have no interest in using a hotel property but would probably go to an indoor waterpark for a day. Now if they offered season or annual passes, that would be even better.


The ocean seems to be cold all year round at this rate. Today, it's only 64 (usually in the 70's).


Looks like I am going to have to make a special trip to the pier while I am up in the area next week. I wonder when its closing the doors for good.


I would think they are going to finish off the season and close in October like usual but since the article says after the "summer season" that could mean after Labor Day too I guess

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It's just getting depressing; the only things you'll be able to do in any shore town in a few years is eat, shop and sit on your ass in a condominium and watch TV.


There is getting to be less for families to do in many shore towns due to "re-development". The problem is coastal real estate has become so over valued that owners are cashing in and local governments don't have the power to stop developers from bulldozing any character the area has to throw up more condos that are only designed to make tons of money for developers. What's sad is the demand is there and as long as this is profitable, it's going to continue.

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Thanks YoshiFan.


The real sad thing about the small parks closing is they are the reason that the development has occured in those areas where they are located. How many small parks and ocean side parks are left that havent been raised. Look at the old Miracle Strip in Panama City Beach. Same thing happend, people liked the area so much after visiting the park they wanted to move there. Then after they move there seems funny now there is nothing to do because the developers have taken all the fun out of the town.


Dont forget Mytle beach another fine example of a seaside park raised for future developement.

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I haven't been to Steel Pier since the late 1990s, but the place had a totally different feel from the other pier parks along the Jersey coast. It was more carnie than park, at least to me. The closure doesn't seem that out of the ordinary to me, with the accident on the flume last year, and the park just not really caring about adding anything for the last decade.

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I feel like I heard this news back in June. The Catanoso brothers lease was up and Trump wanted to extend the Taj Mahal across the boardwalk with Condos, shops and resturants.


I was just there Thursday night. I bought a booklet of 35 tickets for $25.

I figured I had the credits so I would just ride the Disko and my daughter could get her credits on the Wild mouse and little leaper. Well, we both ended up only riding Disko and the Mouse for 34 tickets. Lucky for Hannah, our friend showed up with extra tickets so she could get the little leaper credit.


So, if you plan on going buy the all day wristband for $35.


As for Funtown, I heard it will take at least two more years before it closes.

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Keeping that place open would be a crime. The Trump organization has let their"permament travelling carnival" deteriorate into near oblivion. It bears absolutely no resemblance to the sparkling jewel that it was as mentioned in the article.


I remember even at the age of 4, just prior to the fire, the thrill of the diving bell and the horse; it was the most fabulous place imagineable.

However, returning as I did at 39, was myself involved in an accident with the spinning wild mouse. If they cannot restore it in a fitting nostalgic fashion....let the sea take it!

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Wow...I grew up going to Morey's Pier as I lived in Cape May for 21yrs. I didnt first go to Steel Pier until the early 90's. I was not impressed, but loved the "history" behind it. I was sad to see Ocean One gone(it was not open when I was there) and changed, and al ot of what I remember going to gone. Even the casinos seemed different.


I got my credit on the mouse when it was still at Dinosaur Beach/Hunt's Pier..yet another pier gone to waste...stupid Morey's.

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