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Golden Nugget Farewell Receives a Brass Ring Award at IAAPA

November 17, 2009 by Kristel Fillmore in Awards, Events

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Last night in Las Vegas, we were very happy to learn that the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) honored us with a Brass Ring Award for our Golden Nugget Farewell ceremony as “Best Special Event.” The real honor of the Brass Ring goes to the more than 1,000 people who traveled great distances to pay their respects in freezing weather, see a memorial exhibit, hear eulogies, receive memorial tokens, and warm over clam chowder to view a model of a new coaster. This honor also goes to those who led us in the ceremony, including the leadership of ACE and DAFE, the members of the “Bud” Hunt and John Allen families, and representatives of Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters. Finally, this Brass Ring also honors our team, for planning and organizing the event, making the memorial tokens and the exhibit, and serving the refreshments.

The following is the Editorial that ran in our local Press of Atlantic City, following the event:

Golden Nugget ride / A proper send-off
Editorial in the Press of Atlantic City, Published: Feb 08, 2009

So what would prompt about 1,000 people to queue up on a frigid Saturday afternoon along the desolate Wildwood Boardwalk, where the smell of pizza is long gone and the only water ice is on the tips of frozen noses?

Nostalgia, mostly. Memories. That, and the chance to give a proper send-off to a signature attraction: the Golden Nugget Mine Ride, which is finally biting the dust after sitting for nearly 50 years on the edge of the old Hunt’s Pier, now owned by Morey’s Piers Beachfront Waterparks. The ride hasn’t operated in more than a decade.

The Wildwoods have lost a lot from the 1950s and 1960s, including many of the original doo-wop motels that it capitalized on in recent years. When the motels fall – old favorites such as the Carousel and the Tahiti – it’s generally a quiet affair. A classic neon sign or other architectural detail may wind up in the Wildwood Historical Museum.

But last weekend, Morey’s offered coaster fans, local residents and nostalgic baby boomers – some of whom may have been among the first Golden Nugget riders back in 1960 – a chance to see it one last time, have some fun and take a final hokey picture or two among the scary characters that inhabited the faux mine.

So what would prompt about 1,000 people to queue up on a frigid Saturday afternoon along the desolate Wildwood Boardwalk, where the smell of pizza is long gone and the only water ice is on the tips of frozen noses?

Nostalgia, mostly. Memories. That, and the chance to give a proper send-off to a signature attraction: the Golden Nugget Mine Ride, which is finally biting the dust after sitting for nearly 50 years on the edge of the old Hunt’s Pier, now owned by Morey’s Piers Beachfront Waterparks. The ride hasn’t operated in more than a decade.

The Wildwoods have lost a lot from the 1950s and 1960s, including many of the original doo-wop motels that it capitalized on in recent years. When the motels fall – old favorites such as the Carousel and the Tahiti – it’s generally a quiet affair. A classic neon sign or other architectural detail may wind up in the Wildwood Historical Museum.

But last weekend, Morey’s offered coaster fans, local residents and nostalgic baby boomers – some of whom may have been among the first Golden Nugget riders back in 1960 – a chance to see it one last time, have some fun and take a final hokey picture or two among the scary characters that inhabited the faux mine.

It was a nice touch. The backhoes came in after the crowds left, and the rocky landmark is nearly gone now from the Wildwood landscape. But fans can’t say they didn’t have a chance to say goodbye.

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