Funtown Pier owner will not rebuild

By | July 27, 2016

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. — Funtown Pier, the amusement park pier that was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy then subsequently destroyed in a 2013 fire, will not be rebuilt. An attorney representing the former owner said restrictions placed on the park by the borough’s zoning board would not allow the park to be profitable.

Plans for a rebuilt pier called for rides up to 300 foot in height including a Skycoaster and drop tower. The zoning board initially set the height restriction at 50 feet, then agreed to double that to 100 feet. Attorney Stephen Leone indicated that would not be enough and that with these restrictions in place, the owner, William Major was not interested in rebuilding, fearing he might never recoup his investment. Major stated that he needed six to 10 large thrill rides to justify spending an estimated $20 million on a new pier park.

Local residents expressed concerns over potential noise generated by the rides, as well as lighting displays over 100 feet. Councilwoman Nancy Koury indicated the board was unhappy that Major and his attorney never proposed any alternate plans and that they left the meeting before it was over.

Funtown Pier dates back to the late 1950s and was home to more than 40 rides including four roller coasters, a flume ride, Ferris wheel, Skycoaster and drop tower. Some of the previous rides on the pier exceeded 100 feet in height.