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Asbury Park
David Dorfman
Gilman Commercial

Miniature Golf  |  Wheels  | Skeeball | Fascination

NOTE: This was originally written in 2001. Come see the NEW Asbury Park Boardwalk and new attractions.

As the price of real estate increased along seashore communities, many amusement owners and food concessions have either retired and sold or just sold outright to developers hoping to build luxury housing.

Good article appeared in South Jersey news on the disappearing amusement parks...

The growth of "large" scale Amusement operators, such as Six Flags Great Adventure further led to the decline of many Amusement Parks. These operators were able to acquire large parcels of land and then construct a number of attractions, all for a one price admission.

This was one of the many problems that led to the eventual elimination of attractions in Asbury Park.  Rent that was spiraling out of control and a city that could no longer support or provide on-going maintenance on the city-owned buildings and boardwalk.

It would be real nice to simply bring your children or grandchildren for night out in the summer and enjoy the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Walk the boardwalk and perhaps put them on a ride or two. A nice, relaxing, simple evening.  See the future as presented by Oceanfront Asbury-  the redevelopers chosen by the City of Asbury Park.

Miniature Golf

Asbury Park once had four miniature golf courses. That is as many as I can remember. From 1965 to 1978 apprx. Not sure if there were more earlier....
The US Pro MiniGolf Association (for real) has a good site on the history of miniature golf. Open your own - Harris Miniature Golf Builders.. See Postcards of Old Asbury Park Miniature Golf here

Games of Chance or the Big Wheels

Spinning the Wheel - used to place 25¢ or 5¢ for a chance to win a carton of cigarettes, a giant stuffed animal, box of candy or a record album.
· The larger wheels had 110 numbers, letters, names etc... at .25 for each chance on the board - that would be $27.50 to play the entire wheel - to look at you were a big shot to your girlfriend and not a loser. the secret was - the most the prize would cost back then was half the cost to play the whole wheel - or $13.75. Usually, we would put some of those $13.00 animals surrounded by lower cost items - many times, the winners would select a lower cost item. 
· Many times, some guy would offer you $5.00 in your pocket or $10 to "win" a prize for the impatient girlfriend. Being so honest - I would tell them it was $27.75 to play the whole wheel - but for $20.00 - he could "win".  I always told the boss - who would throw me bonus at the end of the night. This all occurred in the 1st Ave. Arcade - on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park. Boss was from Oklahoma - Dave Bryant - wound up living in the arcade while trying to pay his $30,000 year rent. Later took off in the middle of the night. The City eventually auctioned off the contents of the arcade - skeeball machines, pinball and the rest.

Asbury Park

Asbury Park
David Dorfman

Gilman Commercial Realty

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