Roller Coaster May Be Gone, But More New Rides Are Coming

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Nine months after Superstorm Sandy virtually destroyed the amusement park at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, the thrills are officially back.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported Wednesday, the crowds couldn’t wait to get in just to experience the fun again.

“We’ve been coming here since I was 8 months old, so it’s nice to see everyone happy — having such a great time again — after everything they’ve been through,” said patron Talia Bertolotti.

It was a little more than nine months ago when Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Tri-State Area, leaving a path of destruction on the amusement pier. In an image that became tragically iconic, the JetStar roller coaster was left sticking up from the ocean.

The JetStar was dismantled and is now history. But there is now a new ride, named “Super Storm” after Sandy itself.

“That was way more fun than the other rides they had here,” one patron said.

The process of rebuilding the pier started with the removal of the roller coaster. But there are other new spots, including the Surf Shack, and the pier plans on bringing more rides.

“It is so different just seeing now and back when we were little — it is like a whole different place,” said Lindsey Hiltpold.

Casino Pier spokeswoman Maria Mastoris said progress has been advancing in reconstituting the amusements.

“Three weeks ago we had 12 rides up. Fourteen we have total, including the carousels and the go cart, but they’ve been open since Memorial Day,” she said.

The New Jersey state “Stronger than the Storm” campaign has been working with the pier to bring people in from all over.

“Also, we’re activating the social channels so we’re letting them know Casino Pier is back up and running, and they should come visit Seaside Heights,” said Shannon Eis of the campaign.

While there are no plans to bring back the roller coaster, the pier plans on bringing four more rides to Casino Pier by the end of the summer.

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