Saturday is opening day for Steel Pier in Atlantic City. Steel Pier owner Anthony Catanoso says his only fear about this year’s opening is the cold weather. Despite the perception of Hurricane Sandy damage, Catanoso told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he’s hopeful for the upcoming season, which will feature new food, beverage and entertainment options, as well as synergy with the returning Miss America pageant and Margaritaville.
Steel Pier opened two months late last year and is returning to its regular opening weekend this year, Catanoso said. “Other than the cold weather, we’re ready to go,” he said.
There will be eight new rides coming to Steel Pier. Catanoso said they should arrive in mid-April and be ready to operate in early May, before Memorial Day weekend. “We’ve got some really great food and beverage and entertainment options on the pier this year,” he added.
Last year, Steel Pier introduced alcohol in certain areas and Catanoso said his staff is refining that practice moving into this season. “This year we’re going to have some really neat entertainment in the back bar which holds about 300 people and a different experience in the front bar. We’re going to try to play off the whole Margaritaville experience that’s happening right next door to us. So we’re very excited about that,” he said.
Catanoso said he’s optimistic for the future of Atlantic City. “There’s a lot of exciting things happening. There’s a lot of synergy happening with Miss America, Margaritaville, Revel’s going to be fine. The whole uptown district as we call it here in Atlantic City is gonna have a whole resurgence. So we’re very excited about it,” he said. “We did get a bad rap with the whole Sandy thing but we are really unscathed and ready to go here.”
According to Catanoso, the Atlantic City Alliance is doing a terrific job of promoting the city. “If it doesn’t work, it’s not for lack of trying. But I really think it’s going to work,” he said. “I think the economy’s bouncing back and I know we have all the right elements here, all the right amenities here in Atlantic City to make it a really great destination.”