SEASIDE PARK - A Jersey Shore town has rejected a request to allow boardwalk rides to be higher than 100 feet.
Seaside Park officials will go ahead with a master plan to redevelop parts of the town’s boardwalk, but the plans do not include Funtown Pier’s request to build rides as high as 300 feet off of the ground.
The boardwalk was devastated during Superstorm Sandy and then again nearly a year later in a massive fire. Funtown Pier owners wanted to build the rides higher to protect them during a storm.
“We are in a position where we can’t compete with the northern end [of the boardwalk] who has unlimited heights,” says Funtown attorney Stephan Leone.
An empty space now sits where the amusement park once stood.
Parking lot attendant Michael Anthony say that Funtown Pier once brought a lot of visitors to Seaside Park, but says that they don’t stay as long anymore.
“When [Funtown Pier] was here, they came for the day,” he says. “Now they come for the beach and leave, because there’s not much to do.”
Many locals tell News 12 New Jersey that the super-sized thrill rides, and crowds that they attract, don’t fit in their quiet town. Leone says that it doesn’t make financial sense to rebuild the pier without the rides.
“To justify the expenditures of millions of dollars to rebuild the pier. If you can’t have the higher rides you can’t attract the public to justify the cost of the pier so [I've] been making that appeal to the board,” he says.
The attorney says that the owners plan on doing something else with the property.
The redevelopment proposal approved by the planning board will now go before the Seaside Park mayor and town council.