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OC Landmark Could Be Scaled Down In Near Future

The Dispatch

Original Article »

May 04, 2007

Faced with stable, if not stagnant revenues and staggering property tax assessment increases, an Ocean City landmark and the cornerstone of the resort for nearly 120 years is facing extinction and could be preparing for what might be one last summer season.

Trimper’s Rides, at the foot of the Boardwalk, was abuzz with activity this week as workers repaired and installed rides and splashed a fresh coat on paint on the buildings and amusements, just as they have done each May for the last century or so, but it could be the last time the annual spring cleaning is done at the historic park. Those same workers reportedly got a notice with their most recent paycheck stating the park’s future was in doubt.

Fueled largely by an unquenchable thirst to redevelop old property in the resort with shiny new condominiums, hundreds of which sit empty and unsold, the property value assessments for the historic park have risen by a staggering 163-percent over the last three years, increasing the property taxes owed by the family business by $500,000 over the same period.

The dramatic increase in property tax on the site, along with the associated increases in the cost of doing business, has landed the amusement park in the red, leaving company officials to consider shutting it down.

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