New Owners to Revive Ocean City Water Park

first_imgGillian’s Island Water Park on Plymouth Place in Ocean City will reopen this summer as Adventure Island.An investment group will spend $500,000 to save and enhance a water park on the Ocean City Boardwalk.With its owner in failing health and a mortgage in default, the park had been in danger of closing.The new Adventure Island will combine Gillian’s Island Water Park with Adventure Golf. The park will employ 150 and is expected to open Memorial Day Weekend.The investment will be part of a revitalized stretch of Boardwalk between Seventh and Ninth streets that includes the Moorlyn Family Theatre (relaunched last year as a venue for family movies, live entertainment and community events) and the Strand (which just announced a new family attraction with rock-climbing walls and bounce houses, in addition to its two movie screens).The same investment group provided startup capital for the revitalized Strand, according to Monica Coskey, spokesperson for Adventure Island.The new water park will share cross-promotions with Gillian’s Wonderland Pier. Adventure Island will honor previously sold tickets to Gillian’s Island Water Park, and it will link to Gillian’s Wonderland Pier (and vice versa) on its website.Wonderland Pier owner Jay Gillian said Wednesday that he’s excited to work in partnership with the new owners.Jay Gillian’s brother Jim owned and operated the water park before new investors assumed mortgages in a series of transactions that began last summer. Coskey described the new ownership only “as an investment group interested in maintaining Ocean City as a premier family resort.”Properties at 840 and 850 Plymouth Place were assessed at a combined $2.2 million, according to tax records from July 2013. End of an EraThe transfer marks the end of an era for the Gillian family on the Ocean City Boardwalk at Plymouth Place.David Gillian opened the Fun Deck there in 1929. A Ferris wheel and merry-go-round were the main attractions of an amusement center that was constructed after a 1928 boardwalk fire.David’s sons, Roy and Robert, took over the Fun Deck in the 1950s, and Roy branched off to open Gillian’s Wonderland Pier in 1965.A third generation of Gillians — Jay, Jim and Steve — took control of the Fun Deck property in 1988 and opened the water park there. Jay ultimately took ownership of Wonderland Pier and Jim of the water park. Steve is retired. New AttractionWater park visitors and mini-golfers will pay the same prices as last summer, according to Coskey. In the preseason — from Memorial Day Weekend through June, when the facilities are open from noon to 5 p.m. — all-day passes are just $20 for the water park and $4 for mini-golf. Regular-season pricing is $28.95 for an all-day adult pass and $24.95 for children under 48 inches. Tickets previously purchased during Gillian’s Island Water Park’s preseason holiday sale will be honored at Adventure Island.Preseason tickets are on sale now at www.ocwaterpark.com with discount pricing. The first 1,000 tickets will be sold at $15. The next 5,000 tickets will be sold at $18, and then the preseason price of $20 will take effect.Beginning July 1, the park will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, hours and additional pricing go to www.ocwaterpark.com.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more