Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Trimper’s to remain open

Trimper’s Rides, a 117-year-old seaside park in Ocean City, Maryland, that had threatened to close because of rising taxes, will continue to operate at least for another season.

Members of the closely held family corporation say they will keep the attraction open during 2008 in the hope of buying time for state and local officials to come up with a rescue plan that would preserve the boardwalk arcades and rides in this tourist resort.

“We decided it was premature to just close up with some potential solutions waiting in the wings,” says Doug Trimper, a spokesman for the fifth-generation family business. “We’re waiting for our final tax assessment appeals to be completed and to see whether some kind of tax district or other type of zone can be created to hold down increases in the future.”

The family was considering selling the amusement business and the valuable boardwalk property it sits on because of skyrocketing property tax bills. The assessed value of Trimper properties was $24 million in 2004 and jumped to $62.9 million in 2007, causing a tax bill increas of $387,000 in 2006 and an additional $914,000 in 2007. In recent months the Trimpers have held talks with state and local officials about creating a special tax district or other zone where tax increases aren’t based solely on the potential use of land.

“I’m very optimistic,” says 79-year-old Granville Trimper, who has spent his life running the park and arcades that employs more than 300 workers every season. “I believe that pretty much everybody wants us to stay, but we’re going to have to have some help.”

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