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Ocean City amusement park takes plea online

Baltimore Sun

Original Article »

July 12, 2007

OCEAN CITY // The owners of Trimper Rides are turning to the Internet to drum up support for a tax break they say is needed to keep the 117-year-old Ocean City landmark afloat.

The arcade company launched a Web site Monday, asking patrons to contact local and state elected officials about new tax assessment rules that would cut the property's $914,000 tax bill, which has nearly tripled in three years.

The assessed value of the Trimper property, which stretches from Dorchester Street to the Inlet, was $24 million in 2004 and increased to $62.9 million this year -- jumps that reflect the 16 percent to 20 percent annual increases in Ocean City. Without financial help, members of the corporation say they'll be forced to sell.

"It's not my idea, but I hope it's going to help get us some grassroots support," said Granville Trimper, 79, who heads the company that was founded by his grandparents in 1890. "We're already getting letters and e-mail from people who're worried about us having to go out of business."

Local and state officials, including Gov. Martin O'Malley, who toured the arcade and amusement park two weeks ago, have said they are willing to consider creating a special tax district to protect the family's three-block boardwalk landmark.

The Web site,, invites patrons to post their memories about visiting the arcade or riding its 102-year-old carousel. Designed in a style that mirrors the look of Victorian post cards, the site was created by a local Internet designer at no charge for the city's Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Association.

"We thought a Web site would give people the opportunity to express how they feel about the Boardwalk and the Trimpers," said executive director Susan Jones. "We wanted it to have a nostalgic look."

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