The Seaside Heights planning board on Thursday approved two attractions that will be located on an otherwise-vacant pier on the south side of the boardwalk.
Board members voted unanimously in favor of allowing a four-way bungee trampoline attraction and a separate “animal scooter” ride to be added to the pier at Dupont Avenue for the rest of the season. It is expected that next summer, the pier will be home to a casual restaurant, which received approval in 2020.
The bungee trampoline attraction supports customers with weights between 30 and 180 pounds. Four riders can be buckled into the ride, which is mounted on the pier by four legs, and air cushions allow the riders to jump about 20-feet and bounce off the inflated surface.
Deniz Duzel, the bungee ride’s owner, said the same ride was previously used at Monmouth Mall before a redevelopment construction project began there.
“It has a bumper they jump on with air in it, and it is removable,” Duzel said, confirming that the ride was licensed for safety by the state.
The proprietor of the animal scooter ride, Saime Banu Kalkan, said she is seeking to attract young children and their parents to ride the brightly-colored, animal-themed scooters together around a designated area of the pier. The scooters are electric and recharged overnight when the ride is closed.
“They come and they ride, and it’s a very simple operation – the children love to ride the animal rides,” said Kalkan, who started her business in Ocean County after moving from a seaside resort town in her native Turkey.
The animal scooters are similar to those that are used in some shopping malls to entertain children, she said. Officials did clarify that the 32 animal scooters will be locked up at night and there is sufficient fencing to prevent pranksters from “escaping” the pier and riding down the boardwalk.
“We already studied the area,” said Kalkan. “Where we are operating is a small, closed container.”
Electricity will be provided by the Ocean Club restaurant and cabana club located on the next pier. The two piers are owned by the same principals.
“It goes up pretty quickly – a couple hours to a day,” said project engineer Matthew Wilder. “The intent is that the restaurant will be constructed next year. Because of how late we are in the season, it’s obviously not feasible for this year, so that is why we were looking for some improvements.”
The amusements will not interfere with the Ocean Club, and there will not be cross-access between the two facilities.
“The beach club has fully gated access so there really is no interaction between the two,” he said.
Wilder said the rides will open at 10 a.m. daily and remain open until demand calms down at night.
“It is geared towards children, so we would not expect it to be open into the late-night hours,” he said.
Some of the attractions’ parts were already present on the pier Thursday, but were not operating pending the hearing. Board Attorney Steven A. Zabarsky said the two amusements can begin operating now, though the unanimous approval by the board will be memorialized by resolution at the July 31 meeting.