The owner of several Seaside Heights boardwalk businesses was hailed as a unifying force in town, and a friend to many, last week as the Heights borough council recognized Wayne Cimorelli’s service to the community.
Cimorelli, owner of Coin Castle Arcade and Spicy Cantina, was the 2016 annual honoree by the New Jersey Amusement Association.
“I don’t know what we would do without him,” said Michael Graichen, director of special events for the borough. “It’s a big honor for him and, of course, the borough of Seaside Heights.”
“He has the respect of the business community and the residents, which is a unique thing,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz, speaking on how Cimorelli’s is a respected and positive voice throughout the community.
“Being honored by the state trade association meant a lot,” Cimorelli said. “But the fact that we are all here together also means a lot.”
Cimorelli said he got his start in the amusement industry after befriending Councilwoman Agnes Polhemus and her husband, former Ocean County Sheriff Bill Polhemus. He would frequent the luncheonette that “Aggie” ran, and eventually was offered a job on the boards.
“Seaside has always been the focus of my life,” said Cimorelli. “I love the boardwalk, I love the ocean. My parents weren’t too thrilled with my staying in the amusement industry because I was supposed to be making my way through college, but I stayed.”
“It was the coconut oil and two piece bathing suits that probably had a lot to do with it,” he joked.
For Cimorelli, Seaside Heights is a unique place where the spirit of hard work lives.
“I still love the unique, entrepreneurial spirit of our town, and the unwavering work ethic we bring every day,” he said. “For me, I never felt like it was work, it was always a way of life.”