Amusement Parks: Steel Pier - a Potted History

31 May 2010


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Steel Pier is a 1,000 foot long pier containing an amusement park located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

The amusement park and pier is owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts and is situated opposite the boardwalk from the Trump Taj Mahal.

In 2008, the amusement park and pier enjoyed its 110th anniversary, originally opening its doors in 1898. 

In the mid to late 1930s, the pier and amusement park also played host to the crowning of Miss America and the legendary figures of Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, Mae West and Frank Sinatra and countless others have performed there. At the peak of its popularity, visitors would flock to the amusement park and pier in their thousands with an attendance of 80,000 once reported on the Sunday before one particular Labor Day. 

Even though the pier upon which the amusement park resides is 1,000 feet long, it used to be even longer. However, a fire in 1969 forced it to reduce its size by about a third and a further fire in 1982 also destroyed its original wooden structure. The present pier dates back to 1993. 

There are plenty of traditional rides to enjoy at the amusement park including bumper cars, a double decker carousel, helicopter rides and a ferris wheel to name just a few and popular daredevil shows such as motorcycle stunt riders on trapezes who also defy the laws of gravity as they race around the inside of a 14 foot steel globe. The amusement park is also home to arguably the world’s most famous animal act – the Diving Horse.

Since 1993, the amusement park has been owned and managed by the Catanosa brothers, four brothers along with other partners. 

However, given that the pier and amusement park is owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts who were responsible for its restoration after the 1982 fire, the amusement park and pier remains a topic of speculation and conjecture in that it is likely to be redeveloped into a retail and entertainment complex, housing a series of luxury condominiums subject to planning permission being granted.

 

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