Latest trend - bulldozing seaside amusement parks

Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:36 PM
With the recent news of Panama City Beach closing Miracle Strip Park and the uncertainty of the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, I got to thinking about the unfortunate economic cycle that we appear to be entering. Anyone who has been aware of older, now defunct amusement parks can attest to the fact that the seaside coaster is quickly becoming a thing of the past. As insurance rates climb, and oceanside property values skyrocket, it seems inevitable for many of these parks to sell out. While we are celebrating new coasters at Dollywood and Hersheypark, we should also be concerned with the fate of the seaside park. Wouldn't it be ironic if one of the first seaside coasters may end up being the last? I'm talking about the Coney Island Cyclone. Let's hope this trend ends before we lose Family Kingdom in Myrtle Beach or any of the great Jersey shore amusement parks. *** Edited 4/14/2004 10:38:06 PM UTC by HarryTraver***
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:40 PM
I'm no R Cartmell, but is this really a trend, or speculation?
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:46 PM
I dont know about Belmont Park, but I am sure SCBB has too much of a large following to end up defunct. Isn't Giant Dipper a national landmark too?? (I may be wrong)
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:48 PM
Both Giant Dippers are national historical landmarks. SCBB is doing very well every year and is able to add new attractions year after year. Belmont Park just took on a huge new expansion this year to keep it going for some time.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 6:54 PM
It seems to me that buldozing interesting seaside attractions in favor of condos is far from a "new" trend!

What is the deal with Belmont park anyway. Wasn't it a park that was closed in favor of a shopping mall? I know the coaster was saved etc. Is it closer to a mall or closer to an amusement park these days?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:22 PM
They're closing Miracle Strip? Where did you hear/read this, and what is going to happen to the Starliner?

I just checked their website and it appears that they're in weekend operation currently. Can any locals give us more info?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:25 PM
thrillerman1:

http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/680857.html

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:26 PM

millrace said:
It seems to me that buldozing interesting seaside attractions in favor of condos is far from a "new" trend!

It's not a "new" trend at all. It's more of a recurring trend. Maybe I should have worded it latest "recurring" trend to please the anal minded. Trends commonly recurr. My fear is that we are in the beginning of another phase of seaside parks & coaster demolitions.

The last round that comes to mind offhand; Ocean View, Buckroe Beach, Salisbury Beach, Rockaway Playland & Crescent Park. Of course, many more seaside coasters were lost before them. Then, there was a lull in the 80's & 90's. Now it appears to be rearing it's ugly head again. After a while, there won't be anymore left to bulldoze.

Thank God for the ones that have been designated historical landmarks. *** Edited 4/14/2004 11:33:08 PM UTC by HarryTraver***

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:34 PM
This is truly a sad day for Miracle Strip then. I loved that place and only got to visit on an 8th grade trip. Ahhh fond memories of the place. Hopefully the John Allen classic can be saved. Wasn't that dragon tunnel cool!
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 8:38 PM
The West Coast is a great example, where it was once dotted with numerous seaside parks all up and down the coast, now really only SCBB remains as the last major seaside amusement park left out here. Belmont Park is indeed more of a strip mall now than a park, with the one lone woodie and a few flats tossed in around it to give this small section of the mall more of a park feel.

Santa Monica Pier is a small comback, but more of a small seaside kiddie park than anything else. At least it gives the LA folks a chance to ride a nearby seaside coaster again.

SCBB's Giant Dipper and Looff Carousel were indeed given National Historic Landmarks designations, hopefully this will help ward off any greedy developers that may someday think about bulldozing the classic Boardwalk for pricey oceanside condos.

*** Edited 4/15/2004 12:51:42 AM UTC by jomo***

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 9:36 PM
Just because something is a historic landmark doesn't mean the owner can't bulldoze it. See: Hotel Breakers.

It sucks, but what can you do about it? Anything by water is prime property. If a developer can score a big farm plot outside of a city and make a subdivision of it, imagine the gold they'll see when there's a view.

Personally I think that the saving grace of the seaside park would be to develop it in such a way that it would offer the "themed" shopping that is popping up all over the place. It beats strip malls.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 10:33 PM
^ to my knowledge, anything that has been designated a national historical landmark cannot be demolished. I'm pretty sure about this. The point of this designation is to preserve the landmark, not bulldoze it. What would be the point of this otherwise?
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004 11:47 PM
The Jersey Shore parks / Piers aint' going nowhere!
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 12:13 AM
What would hinder the Pavillion's future? I heard it was just possible relocation plans, and they would not be closing the park other than to (possibly) relocate.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 1:24 AM
/\ And I'm still praying that dosen't happen. There are good sides to it, more rides/coasters, but i love it where it is now, and wish the town would realize that the reason people don't come downtown is because of all of the trash in the store windows people don't want to see/want their kids to see. Revitalize the store fronts and clean it up and you have a market waiting for a re-boom.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 8:54 AM

HarryTraver said:
^ to my knowledge, anything that has been designated a national historical landmark cannot be demolished.
Well it's apparently not true. Cedar Point's Breakers Hotel was revoked the status when they tore down the wing that was used for employee housing and replaced it with Breakers Tower.

The government can't tell you that your private property can't be modified or torn down.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 12:14 PM

BullGuy said:
What would hinder the Pavillion's future? I heard it was just possible relocation plans, and they would not be closing the park other than to (possibly) relocate.

Relocate the rides to the Hard Rock Park, which is several miles inland was what I read in one article. The Pavilion needs to
stay where it is. It's a unique attraction for that area. It IS Myrtle Beach. There are hundreds of retail complexes already in MB.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004 12:24 PM
HarryTraver,
Tell that to all the Chicagoans who now have to look at a spaceship docked at Soldier Field http://www.dailyherald.com/special/soldierField/photoWest.jpg
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Thursday, April 15, 2004 1:17 PM
Jeff is correct about the Landmark Status. That is a glorified marketing tool that Cedar Point used for many years...mostly to justify the high cost and poor quality of the old hotel rooms. "No ma'am, there is no air conditioning in the lobby. I am sorry it is 105 degrees in here but you know what...we ARE a National Historic Landmark." -OR- "Yes sir, I am aware that it is difficult to hike all of your baggage up three flights of stairs but we don't have an elevator and we ARE a National Historic Landmark."

This "trend" isn't just happening at the seasides. The old Opryland Theme Park was a long way from the ocean but the owner (Gaylord) decided the land was more valuable as a year round mega-mall than a seasonal theme park.

It almost happened at Cedar Point. There was a very real chance that Cedar Point could have become a peninsula full of homes.

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Friday, April 16, 2004 10:48 AM
I'd imagine that most of the parks along the Jersey shore are safe... at least the ones in Wildwood and Seaside. The Wildwood piers extend over the beach and the town won't sell the beach to a developer, and Seaside's piers sit over the actual ocean, so no chance of them getting bulldozed for condos or retail, either.
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