Playland's Castaway Cove to reopen after 4-alarm fire on Ocean City Boardwalk

By6abc Digital Staff and Brandon Longo via WPVI logo
Thursday, March 4, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

A staple on the Ocean City Boardwalk will reopen in just a few weeks following a devastating 4-alarm fire.

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A staple on the Ocean City Boardwalk will reopen in just a few weeks following a devastating 4-alarm fire.

SEE ALSO: Officials reveal cause of 4-alarm fire on Ocean City boardwalk

Officials said an electrical source sparked the blaze at Playland's Castaway Cove on January 30.

The arcade, offices, and the famous pirate ship on the roof were damaged, but fortunately, many of the rides were untouched.

Playland's Castaway Cove will open the weekend of March 27 and it is offering deals to customers.

Brian Hartley, vice president of Playland's Castaway Cove, tells Action News that patrons can expect about 20 rides to be operational in the coming weeks.

"We have 32 total rides, and I would say for the opening weekend we'll probably have approximately 20. And hopefully Easter weekend, 22 to 23 rides," said Hartley.

There will be a separate entrance until the demolition is complete.

Patrons will enter in the middle of the block between 10th and 11th Street near what the amusement park calls its "back ticket booth." A boardwalk entryway will be built hopefully by the summer.

"Our plan for this summer is to try to get a deck down on the property, get all the piling work done, and funnel people through that same entryway. For this summer, there is not going to be an arcade, there's really not going to be any storefronts up there," said Hartley.

SEE ALSO: 4-alarm fire erupts at boardwalk in Ocean City, damages amusement park

Federal and local investigators were able to use a pattern of fire alarms, eyewitness accounts, photos and videos, a detailed excavation of the site and examination of forensic evidence to determine the cause and area of origin for the fire.

Businesses Hamburger Construction Company and Brume Juice were also destroyed in the fire.

The area around the amusement parks remains blocked off and the charred rubble is still visible from the boardwalk. Hartley says he's still waiting for approval to get into the site.

"The city's been great, they've been very helpful in trying to fast track a lot of the things. We have a big meeting coming up on March 13 for the zoning board to try to get our plans approved. But we're still waiting to demolish the building. We're still waiting for the okay from the insurance company to be able to get into the site. We've had limited access," he said.

And for those wondering, the iconic parrot, pirate and ship will be coming back.

"It's been overwhelming, it really is. To hear their stories and to read the things that people have posted on Facebook and Instagram, and how much this place is meant-- the pirate, the parrot, and the ship upfront, you know to us it was kind of a decoration, but to so many other people it was really a destination that they looked forward to. The plan is to have that back up there."