A Seaside Heights luminary and Lavallette resident who, for years, owned and operated Casino Pier, has died.
Robert Bennett, whose most recent venture in town was the much-lauded mininature golf course construction along the Boulevard in 2017, died late last month at the age of 90. At a recent meeting of the Seaside Heights borough council, Mayor Anthony Vaz paid tribute to the man who helped shape Seaside Heights as we know it today.
“Bob was 90-years-old, and I know all of us would agree he lived a good life,” said Vaz. “He came to Seaside with no high money in front of him, he started from scratch and developed business knowledge. From that, he created a lot of businesses from Casino Pier to a lot of other ventures.”
Bennett grew up in Montclair, N.J. and served in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Ammen. An avid traveler from his Navy days, his career in entertainment began with Coney Island road shows, operating games in Cuba at the Caribbean resort’s fairs. He returned to Seaside Heights and began working at Casino Pier, which he would later come to own in 1982. He remained the pier’s owner until 2002, when it was sold to the Storino family, who operates it to this day.
Bennett also owned and operated other notable Shore businesses such as the Bamboo Bar and, at one time, all of the games on the Atlantic City Steel Pier.
A funeral service was held Feb. 26.
“His compassion toward everyone was one of his legacies, and he’ll be missed by everyone in the public,” Vaz said.