A little better than a year ago, the owner of the Diving Horse nightclub announced he was considering building a hotel with a water park across the road from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
The idea was a good one but, as we have heard before, many good plans have been presented and have never been developed. Unfortunately, there has been no further comment relative to the future of this concept.
Why is this a topic of discussion for today’s column? Because of a recent email sent to me by a young man I greatly admire. He said he thought the following would be of interest to me. It is, and it explains the headline of this column.
“Some of surfing’s biggest names aren’t just catching waves. They are also talking about making them. Surf parks — massive pools with repeating, artificial waves — are the latest buzzword in the surf community. Everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost sales and create a standardized way to train that could help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree.
“Next came the dream of a surf park, a 2-acre wave pool capable of generating anything from tiny beginner ripples to 10-foot barrels every minute, with every wave the same. Customers would pay by the number of waves to learn the sport or refine their technique and learn new tricks. Those interested toss out the tantalizing thought of what if there was a national surfing league, much like the NBA, with feeder teams and city affiliations.
“There would be live, televised surfing competitions staged with predictable waves and a massive surf arena. In a park, you can always get a perfect position, the wave will always be perfect and you can really work on your surfing. Technology has advanced enough to make parks economically viable, but operators will need to build near large population centers and make the pools the centerpiece of a larger development. The owner of Wave Loch, a wave technology company, said this could make the venture profitable.
“One of the biggest and best-known wave parks is Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Florida. There are places to train — safe, controlled environments that allow people that initial introduction, and that is absolutely key. Wave companies have said they can produce waves for one dollar a wave.”
The Atlantic City area certainly has sufficient land available for such a wave facility. It could be available on a year-round basis, if it is enclosed. Thus the search for a developer who could foresee that an entity such as a wave pool near the Atlantic Ocean would have the possibility of being a tremendous venture. I believe that people from all over the eastern portion of our country would be attracted to this type of activity.
Is there a developer willing to become involved in such a project? I certainly hope so. Just the idea of controlling the size of the wave and keeping it the same so that people can learn how to surf it would be an enjoyable experience. I believe it would be a financial success and warrants the assistance of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for its development, if a developer shows interest in this type of a venture.
There is no doubt in my mind that Matt McCabe, formerly a professional surfer born and raised in the Atlantic City area and now residing in Manhattan Beach, Calif., the president of the ASP World Tour Surfing, would be interested in seeing such an entity, discussed above, here in his hometown. I’m waiting for a call from Matt to discuss this.
A smooth ride
For the past several years, it has been very difficult to find a smooth ride on most of the streets in Atlantic City. This column is most happy to report that after years of writing about it and talking about it on radio shows, there is now a four-block stretch on Atlantic Avenue that is as soft and smooth a ride as you will find on any street anywhere.
As you drive into the city and pass Atlantic and Boston avenues, your car goes from small bumps to a delightful experience for four contiguous blocks on Atlantic Avenue to Morris Avenue. Yes, my friends, Atlantic Avenue has been milled and paved for the first time in too many years. It is as nice an experience as one could possibly imagine.
It has been a long time coming. Thanks to Paul Jerkins, director of the Public Works Department, Mayor Lorenzo Langford and City Council, this project was completed within a week. It was interesting to note that the first advertisement for this paving received no bidders. The second ad had three bidders, and City Council selected the lowest bidder for the job. Once you drive over it, you will attest to the fact they did a good job.
This is the first four blocks of Atlantic Avenue to have been paved in recent years. Hopefully, City Council will be able to find the funds necessary to do the remaining 29 blocks of Atlantic avenue.
Speaking of paving, the CRDA advertised for bids on Pacific Avenue’s milling and paving. Three firms have expressed interest. The project is scheduled to be completed by May.
Notes of interest
OCEAN CITY TENNIS COURTS GRANT: Phil Birnbaum, tennis coach at Richard Stockton College and Ocean City’s tennis professional, was successful in obtaining a $20,000 matching grant for the damage that had been done by Hurricane Sandy to Ocean City’s tennis courts. Our congratulations to Phil for having the know-how to get the necessary funds to refurbish the excellent tennis courts that had severe damage.
SID IMPROVEMENTS: The next project for the CRDA’s Special Improvement Division will be the building of bike racks to be placed on the Atlantic City Boardwalk at varied locations in the spring of 2014. They will protect riders’ bikes while they go in a shop for breakfast. Flags have been installed on the street-end arches as a temporary measure until the new permanent polls are installed. They really look nice.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: email@example.com