Page 39 of 65

Funtown Pier (Seaside Heights) rebuilding?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:36 pm
by larrygator
Funtown Pier, at the south end of the Seaside Heights boardwalk had not had a good run the past few years. The pier was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, then the pier was destroyed by a fire in 2013.

Plans are now in the works to rebuild.

Giant rides at Funtown Pier? Town must decide
Bonnie Delaney, Correspondent 6:55 p.m. EST February 11, 2015

SEASIDE PARK – Does this seashore resort community need a new Funtown boardwalk amusement pier with six to 10 thrill rides that soar 300 feet into the sky?

It depends on who you ask. Cheryl Raley, the owner of the Charlroy Motel a block away from the proposed amusements, told the borough Planning Board Tuesday night that she cannot sustain her business without the attractions.

"We are a resort town. We all bought in a resort town," said Raley, whose grandfather built the motel in 1948. "I need those rides for visitors."

But Stockton Avenue resident Pat DeGutis said she's not in favor of rides that will "cause thrills or screaming" by patrons.

She recalled hearing the noise of the pneumatic pistons bringing riders on the 225-foot-high Tower of Fear up and then slamming down dozens of times each day into the night.

"And the Himalaya ride operator liked to turn the volume of the music up as high as it could go," she said, adding that she preferred to hear the sound of the birds in her backyard rather than the incessant noise of the rides, people screaming and loud music.

Raley and DeGutis were among a half dozen residents who attended an informal session held by the planning board to review initial plans Funtown Pier owner Bill Major has developed to rebuild the amusement pier destroyed in a boardwalk fire in September 2013 and add giant rides.

Stephan R. Leone, Major's lawyer, said the business is seeking planners' support of a proposed ordinance that would allow Funtown Amusements to install six to 10 thrill rides between 200 and 300 feet high on the rebuilt pier. Among the new rides mentioned were a zip line with two towers that would allow riders to view the rides and the ocean, a Sky Coaster that is 195 feet tall, and other high rides like the Space Shot and Turbo Force, in addition to 25 kiddie rides.

Henry Hengchua, a Toms River architect, described the concept for the amusement area, noting that although the rides will be very high, they won't be obstructive.

"They'll be spread apart so people will go from one ride to the next and walk throughout the Funtown Amusement area," said Hengchua, who has designed amusement parks for Six Flags' Great Adventure, Hershey Park and Wildwood. He said that because of the high winds off the ocean, the high rides will either be on a cantilevered pole or on porous trusses.

However, the municipality has an ordinance that limits the height of rides to 50 feet, according to planning board member Charles Appleby, who added that Major's request years ago to install the Tower of Fear ride was denied. So, Majors leased a section of boardwalk nearby that was just across the town line in Seaside Heights, where higher rides are permitted, and brought the Tower of Fear to the boardwalk.

What's right for Seaside Park?

Leone said that the town must decide if it is in favor of an amusement pier or it isn't.

"It won't be economically viable to rebuild the pier if you don't want noise and you don't want lights (from rides)," he said.

Faye Haring said the borough has been without a boardwalk and amusement pier for the past two summers. She said attempts to have a carnival at the marina and at the oceanfront parking lot did not attract many families.

"This is a chance to bring families with children back to our town. We don't have anything to offer young families," she said.

Major said if he cannot have the upgraded rides he cannot afford to rebuild the $20 million pier with only kiddie rides because the smaller rides don't bring in enough money.

"I've been on the pier since 1980 and you need to get the big rides that generate revenue," he said.

Major said he has already received CAFRA (Coastal Area Facilities Review Act ) permit to rebuild the pier on its original footprint and the first pilings are going in.

Funtown dates back more than half a century. Before superstorm Sandy struck the coast, the pier had more than 30 rides, including thrill rides like the Sling Shot. The storm destroyed many of the rides but much of the pier was still standing. The surviving rides were all destroyed by the boardwalk fire.

The planning board is expected to schedule another session to listen to residents who want to weigh in on the boardwalk amusement pier plans, before it makes a recommendation to the Borough Council.

Re: Funtown Pier (Seaside Heights) rebuilding?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:53 am
by KBrylczyk
They'd better rebuild. I grew up 10 miles from Seaside Heights. That town has nothing going for it aside from dirty bars if they don't rebuild the pier. Seaside Heights was always considered a fun place to go from 9am until 5pm. Once the bar crowd showed up for the evening all of the families left quickly because of how bad it got. If it turns into being just that crowd, well, yeesh.

Re: Hurricane Sandy vs. Roller Coasters

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:15 pm
by larrygator
Casino Pier has submitted a proposal to expand their pier northward (over the beach) versus east into the ocean.

Highlights of the plan include a "major new roller coaster and ferris wheel"
The historical carousel that was up for sale would be saved.
Land for the pier expansion would be given to Casino Pier in exchange for vacant lots in the area owned by the park, which will be turned into parking.

As an aside, government officials are still deciding if the go ahead for a new Funtown Amusement Pier will be granted.

Casino Pier amusement park damaged by Sandy announces expansion plans
By Wayne Parry, Associated Press

The New Jersey shore amusement pier that became an iconic image of Superstorm Sandy when the storm knocked its roller coaster into the ocean will be rebuilt — on dry land and not over the surf.

The owners of the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights have submitted plans to the state Department of Environmental Protection seeking to expand the pier on the north side of the remains of the old one.

The expansion will be done over the beach and won't jut out over the water; a small section of the original pier still extends beyond the surf.

"It's definitely safer than rebuilding the pier out over the water," said Maria Mastoris, a spokeswoman for Casino Pier. "Building that far out over the water would be unsafe in future storms."

The company says extending out over the water would cost at least three times as much as adding to the pier over the sand. Mastoris would not estimate the cost of the project, but the company's permit application to the DEP lists it as $3.5 million.

The department is currently accepting public comments about the proposal, and the permit remains under review, DEP spokesman Bob Considine said.

The Jet Star roller coaster that plunged off the pier into the ocean became one of the most enduring images of Sandy.

The Storino family, which owns the pier, decided within days of the Oct. 29, 2012, storm that it would be rebuilt. Undamaged sections of the pier closer to the boardwalk were open for the 2013 and 2014 summer seasons with fewer rides than the original pier.

The expansion will replace much of the space that was lost when Sandy damaged the pier.

"Without this project, the future of Seaside Heights as a coastal tourist destination will remain threatened," project manager Karen Gruppuso wrote in the company's permit application. "This project is essential to the post-Sandy recovery efforts, not only for Seaside Heights but for this stretch of the Jersey shore."

The pier will have 23 rides open this summer, including a new Double Shot Drop Tower. The selection of rides for the expanded area of the pier will be determined in the fall and winter, but the application says a major new roller coaster and Ferris wheel are planned for the area.

It will involve a land swap between Seaside Heights and the company, with Casino Pier getting a section of beach to build upon, while giving the borough vacant lots to support beachgoer parking and preserving a historic carousel that the company had intended to sell.

Seaside Heights is where MTV's "Jersey Shore" reality series was filmed.

A second amusement pier between Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park, the Funtown Pier, was damaged in the storm, then burned in a catastrophic boardwalk fire in 2013. The towns and the state are considering rebuilding plans for that pier as well.

Re: Hurricane Sandy vs. Roller Coasters

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:59 pm
by jray21
It could be nice if they set it up like Santa Cruz where you still have a ton of beach area.

Re: Hurricane Sandy vs. Roller Coasters

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:32 pm
by larrygator
jray21 wrote:It could be nice if they set it up like Santa Cruz where you still have a ton of beach area.

I've only been to SCBB once but if I recall correctly the boardwalk is much closer to the water at Seaside than SCBB. The beach area is still plenty big between the existing Casino Pier and the old Funtown Pier.

Re: Funtown Pier (Seaside Heights) rebuilding?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:23 pm
by ECZenith
We stopped at Seaside Heights, a city close to my heart and full of happy childhood memories to check progress since the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy.

It was sad to see the big coaster and Stillwalk Manor gone but the park has been Zamperla'd out with some nice new stuff.

For years I have been trying to ride the unusual Wizards Cavern dark ride coaster. The first time I went it was closed due to low crowds. Second time I went , the replacement was in pieces (Pirate Hideaway) This time I was able to ride, and there was a bit more track in the building than I actually expected. A fun little thing!

Re: Funtown Pier (Seaside Heights) rebuilding?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:21 pm
by TogoFan
Is funtown pier closed for good?

On RCDB is says defunct.

Re: Funtown Pier (Seaside Heights) rebuilding?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:55 pm
by larrygator
TogoFan wrote:Is funtown pier closed for good?

On RCDB is says defunct.

Half of Funtown Pier fell in the ocean during Sandy, the rest of it burned down during the boardwalk fire of 2013. The owner says he might rebuild, but doesn't have the approval to rebuild.

It's all in limbo right now. Here is the most recent article I could find about Funtown Pier

Beach buggies coming to Funtown Pier
Jean Mikle, @jeanmikle 10:46 p.m. EDT May 27, 2015

The buggies should be up and running at the Funtown Pier site by sometime next month, after the Seaside Park Planning Board Tuesday unanimously approved Pier owner William Major's application to offer buggy rides on the beach this summer. The buggies are expected to continue operating until the end of September.

The rides will feature professional drivers, who will pilot up to three passengers at a time along a course on the beach that will feature berms that the buggies will drive over. The buggies will not race on the course, with speeds being restricted to 15 to 20 miles per hour, according to Richard Schmidt, a former motocross racer who has been teaching safety and education classes for off-road vehicles since 1993.

Passengers will be required to wear helmets, goggles and seatbelts while taking the buggy ride. The 12- by 4-foot buggies will pilot riders around the course for about four to five minutes, Schmidt said. The ride's cost has not yet been set.

Buggy rides will be allowed from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. weekdays, and until midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

Schmidt, who runs a facility for instruction and off-road riding in Cumberland County's Millville, will manage the beach buggy concession this summer.

The buggy rides are a way to draw visitors to an area of the beachfront where businesses have struggled for the two summers, hurt first by the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy, and then the additional damage that resulted from a brutal boardwalk fire.

"The people just aren't coming down," Schmidt said. "Why aren't they coming down? There isn't enough to do."

Major has declared his intention to rebuild the iconic pier. The buggy concession is a short-term use of the property, to help bring in some income until work on rebuilding the pier can start, he said.

In February, Major presented a preliminary plan for rebuilding the landmark pier that includes adding six thrill rides that will soar 200 to 300 feet into the sky. Among the new rides: a zip line with two towers that would allow riders to view the rides and the ocean; a Sky Coaster 195 feet tall; and the high-altitude Space Shot and Turbo Force, in addition to 25 kiddie rides.

Before Sandy, Funtown had about 30 rides. The storm damaged many of the rides, and the fire, which happened in September 2013, destroyed all that were left. The fire was started by electrical wiring damaged by Sandy.

Major has already received a state Coastal Area Facilities Review Act (CAFRA) permit from the state that allows him to rebuild the pier on the same footprint as before.

Business owners in the area have said the loss of Funtown Pier has badly hurt their summer revenue.

Planning board members approved the buggy ride application, after board members and residents questioned Major, Schmidt and the project's engineer, Douglas Klee, for more than two hours about everything from potential noise to portable lighting.

The board's approval came with a number of conditions, including a requirement that Major seek retroactive approval for pilings and a concrete pad he built on the site without getting approval from the borough.

Major must seek approval from the board again if he plans to operate the ride next year, and the buggy rides must comply with all borough noise ordinances.

Major agreed to have two employees stationed on the oceanfront side of the buggy course, to make sure people do not sneak onto the course from the beach. A five-foot protective berm will surround the rest of the course.

Major, who is a contractor, said he will excavate the course and form the berms using sand that's already on the beach.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has indicated that the beach buggy rides are a permitted use on the nearly 3-acre Funtown Pier site, Klee said, and that a CAFRA permit is not needed for this use.

Portable 30-foot lights will be brought to the site, as there has been no electricity there since the fire, Major said. The buggies will be fueled with gasoline brought to the site on a Jeep. The vehicles will get gas on a concrete ramp at the site, which will be covered with a pad to absorb any spills.

At least some audience members did not support the buggy rides.

Patricia DeGutis, of Stockton Avenue, said that the soft sand in Seaside Park could create conditions that are difficult for drivers to navigate, and make the ride dangerous for passengers.

"I, personally, wouldn't have any of my close friends or relatives do this," she said.

But Shirley Kreszl, of North Bayview Avenue, said residents must remember "that we are a tourist community."

"We need to bring people in," she said. "We had rides up there, we had loud noise....Let's bring people in and enjoy our summer season."

Re: Hurricane Sandy vs. Roller Coasters

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:52 pm
by larrygator
Ignore the fact errors in the article and embrace the move forward. New pier and $20-$40 Million to upgrade.

Casino Pier has approval to rebuild a pier. It is not clear if they will move all the remaining rides to the new pier or if the remaining rides will remain where they are with a longer pier directly north of the currently standing pier.

Park owner traded their $1.5 million carousel (which sits on the boardwalk, not on a pier) to the city of Seaside Heights in exchange for the land.

New Jersey OKs permit to rebuild storm-hit amusement park
By Daniel Bases

Owners of an historic amusement park on the New Jersey shore badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 have been given a permit to rebuild, state authorities said on Monday.

Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, first opened in 1932, was wrecked by the storm that hammered northeastern U.S. coastal areas and caused billions of dollars in damage. One of the more memorable images of the devastation was of the park's Skyride roller coaster partly submerged in the Atlantic Ocean.

The permit issued on July 15 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection allows the roller coaster to be rebuilt and the pier to be partly relocated, a department spokesman said.

Plans for reconstruction include swapping public land for a piece of property north of the new building area now owned by the Storino family who own the park, Borough of Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz said.

While the borough can begin installing new pilings for the pier now, final approval of the land swap is not likely before the end of the year, an attorney for the borough said.

"We are at a standstill until the land swap agreement is finalized with the state and the town," said Maria Mastoris, marketing manager for Casino Pier.

Mastoris declined to comment on the rebuilding budget.

Casino Pier was purchased by the Storinos in 2002, according to the company's website.

"It is an estimate, but they (Casino Pier) are going to spend anywhere between $20 million and $40 million to rebuild. That includes construction and land," Vaz said.

As part of the deal, Casino Pier would transfer to Seaside Heights ownership of a 105-year-old carousel featuring hand-carved horses that is worth from $1.5 to $2.0 million, Vaz said.

Re: Hurricane Sandy vs. Roller Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:03 pm
by jray21
I couldn't find anything recent about this. Anyone know if the deal was finalized?