Funtown Pier: Never Rebuilding

Posted by  r0llerc0ast3r / 26 Jul : 10:52
It has been almost four years since the Jersey Shore was devastated by storm surge and flooding from Superstorm Sandy causing mayhem along ocean front towns like Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park. The powerful storm surge ripped apart iconic amusement piers piece by piece and left many attractions, rides and even roller coasters sitting idle in the ocean.

Since 2012 the Seaside Heights boardwalk is now home to one pier, Casino Pier. Neighboring Funtown Pier has yet to rebuild and little has come from owner William Major regarding the amusement piers future. I personally have wondered when and if the Funtown Pier would ever be rebuilt. Growing up along the Jersey Shore, the two rival piers have always been a staple of what Seaside Heights boardwalk was. So after the storm and a fire that pretty much sealed the deal for Funtown Pier to never return, all eyes focused on the adjacent Casino Pier.... until now!

photo courtesy of Asbury Park Press

On Tuesday July 26, 2016 at 6:30pm Seaside Park town officials discussed the future plans of Funtown Pier. In attendance were Seaside Park residents and the owner of the pier William Major who believes that the new park should have rides reaching giant proportions of 200 feet to 300 feet tall. Right now Seaside Park prohibits any rides above 50 feet tall and is willing to adopt a new height variance of 100 feet. Major says he needs at least six larger "thrill rides" in total to turn a profit on the $20 million cost of rebuilding the pier. Small kiddie rides are not profitable in his opinion. The cost of building the pier alone would come with a $10 million price tag and Major doesn't see how the family/kiddie rides could turn a profit from the rebuild.

Residents of Seaside Park were present and many voiced opinions regarding the new proposed seaside thrill park. Many believe the noise, lights and crowds would take away from what Seaside Park is as an ocean front community. Unlike Seaside Heights which has night clubs, bars, and an amusement pier... Seaside Park is comprised of mainly residential and seasonal business'.

At the end of the heated discussion regarding the future of Funtown Pier, planning board officials turned down the proposal from Major to build thrill rides reaching 300 feet. William Major and his attorney removed themselves from the room before the board could propose any alternatives to the site, and Major has stated the pier will not be rebuilt.