Friday, September 15, 2006

A Coney Cousin Gets the Trump Axe!

[I Miss Greyton -]
This summer will be the last for an Atlantic City institution.
Leave it to a Trump to do away with another remnant of ‘America's Favorite Playgrounds'
After more than 100 years, the Steel Pier will close at the end of the summer season. The pier is owned by Trump Entertainment and Resorts, and will make way for a mixed-use development including stores, restaurants and hotel rooms.
Seems Atlantic City is gearing itself more to adults. Because as it is, there is very little in the form of amusement options for the young.
The steel pier, which opened in 1898, now offers amusement rides and carnival games, and once was the home of the famous diving horse. The exact closing date has not been announced
The Boardwalk amusement park adjacent to the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was famous for many popular acts making this storied century-long run destination as the "Showplace of the Nation".
Opening in 1898, the Steel Pier delighted crowds for decades with big-name entertainers ranging from Al Jolson to Frank Sinatra, daredevil stunt performers and hard-to-believe animal acts that included the diving horse and Rex the Wonder Dog, a water-skiing canine in the 1930s. One memorable oddity was the diving bell, which took thrillseekers underwater in murky seas. W.C. Fields got his show-business start as a minstrel at the Pier. It also hosted many big musical acts and had five entertainment theaters in its prime

Anthony Catanoso and his family have operated the Steel Pier amusement park for about 15 years under contract with Donald Trump's casino company. 'We are not happy to lose the pier,' Catanoso said. Known as the 'Showplace of the Nation' during its glory days.

Fears are that the Steel Pier's closing will mean the end of family entertainment in Atlantic City. They urge Trump to scrap the redevelopment plan so that the pier could be preserved for children's amusements

Catanoso noted the pier's place in community charity work, including days when the amusement park is opened to local children for free and to reward students for perfect attendance in school. All that, he said, will disappear when the pier closes.

However, Donald Trump says he is close to hooking up with a Tokyo video games giant, Sega Enterprises Limited, to renovate the Steel Pier here.
Trump officials said the $20 million plan included a high-tech, family-oriented amusement park. They did not say whether they would bring back the pier's famous diving horse.

Steel Pier [Official Site]

Jersey Steel Pier pic & history Site [Steel Pier]

Many Remember High Diving Horse Show [NBC 10 - Philadelphia]
(Video & Picture Slideshow included)

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