SEA ISLE CITY - Gillian's Funland of Sea Isle City made about $400,000 in 2009, its first year in a coastal city that went without an amusement park for a decade, and the park's operators intend to add more rides this year.
"I'm just pleasantly surprised," said Jay Gillian, who also operates Gillian's Wonderland Pier in Ocean City. "I did hit all the numbers I planned to hit. I was very conservative."
The amusement park, which is located on a city-owned lot alongside a public waterfront on 42nd Place, opened in late June, nearly a month later than planned due to wet weather that delayed pouring the asphalt and concrete foundations, officials have said.
Through an agreement with Gillian's Funland, Sea Isle City receives 10 percent of the park's revenue, or about $38,900, Mayor Leonard Desiderio said.
"I feel it's something that's only going to get better once people realize Sea Isle City has an amusement park," Desiderio said. "It's something that has been missing in Sea Isle City for years, from 2000 to 2009."
Fun City, an amusement park that was part of Sea Isle City for more than 30 years, closed in 2000 and was sold to developers after the owners could not find a buyer for the park.
In 2009, the city decided to lease land near its marina for an amusement park.
Desiderio said the city has an agreement with the amusement park that will allow the company to enlarge it.
Gillian said he expects to add five more children's rides to the park, which has about a dozen such rides, as well as concessions.
"Sea Isle reminds me of Ocean City maybe about 15 years ago," Gillian said. "It's more of a Memorial Day to Labor Day kind of town as far as their guests being there, but it's growing. In Ocean City, we have grown our shoulder season much over the last five to 10 years."
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