People say I was born with sand in my shoes. I’d have to agree with that. But I’d go a step further and say that I was also born with quarters in my pockets! During the summer of 2011, I, with the help of my girlfriend Chris, compiled a total of over 600,000 points at Mariner’s Arcade!
Having the great fortune of being able to live at the shore for the Summer, Mariner’s Arcade was a MUST stop almost every night of the week. Poker and Skee Ball specials, Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right, it didn’t matter. We played them all! With the kindest employees and best prizes in all of Wildwood, NJ, we were able to go home with everything from Nolan Ryan and Ryan Madson autographed baseballs to picture frames and even a waffle iron for those winter nights when waffles and ice cream on the Boardwalk seems so far out of reach.
Skee Ball Specials were where we won the most! A score of 450 or more can ring that bell for a bonus you say? No problem! There were nights where we would ring that bell 7, 8, 9 times even! There were nights where we were winning 30 coupons for 300 bonus points on Skee Ball! No summer night is complete without a trip in Mariner’s Arcade.
Being school teachers in Philadelphia, Labor Day weekend was our last moment to play daily. It was also the last time we were able to chat in the arcade with the amazing staff that comes from overseas. As bittersweet as that weekend was, it also meant that we could cash our points for the best prizes on the boardwalk! It never ended! An autographed baseball, blankets, Pillow Pets, Portable DVD players, Bobble Heads and water bottles! One hour (and about 6 bags later) we were finished. Who would have thought that we would have to walk back to 21st and Surf to pick up my car so we could drive back to Schellenger Avenue to pick up our prizes!
An amazing summer has come to an end, but we still had all of September and October to enjoy in Mariner’s Arcade thanks to Morey’s Fears (which was an incredible event)!
People often ask why spend so much money in an arcade to redeem prizes when you can easily find the same items in stores. While that statement may be true, there are things that you can find in an arcade but not in a store. The laughing, joking, conversations, competition, and summer fun that is found in Mariner’s Arcade is something that can not be found anywhere else! Thanks for a GREAT summer, Mariner’s! See everyone in 2012!
Rick Conti is a full time music teacher at St. Martin of Tours School in the Oxford Circle section of Philadelphia, PA.
He’s been visiting Wildwood, NJ his entire life, and will continue to visit forever! One day, he would like to be able to permanently move to the Wildwoods!