OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Ocean City’s Playland’s Castaway Cove amusement park is getting set to reopen this weekend. A massive fire tore through its offices and arcade in January.
“By the time they got here, the building was pretty much fully engulfed,” Castaway Cove Vice President Brian Hartley said.READ MORE: Pennsylvania To Expand COVID-19 Eligibility To Everyone In Phase 1C Beginning Monday
Hartley described the scene as firefighters arrived the morning of Jan. 30. Pictures from the ground and air show the offices and arcade of Ocean City’s oldest amusement park consumed by smoke and flames. Officials ruled the fire an accident, triggered by an unidentified electrical source.
“The roof and everything collapsed, it’s just a pile of burnt rubble,” Hartley said.
Nearly two months later, the damage is still on display, along with a sign of hope.
“You can still see the mast and everything that’s still up,” Hartley said.
The Playland’s signature pirate ship along the boardwalk is charred, but still standing as the park sets to reopen this weekend.
“When they saw the pictures of the fire, they thought we were done. We weren’t going to be open in 2021, and that’s not the case. Yes, the arcade and some of the offices and tenants are gone, but the rides were undamaged,” Hartley said.READ MORE: Man Injured In North Philadelphia Shooting: Police
The fire spared most of the rides and park lovers are ready to get back.
“The phone has been ringing off the hook the last few weeks,” Hartley said.
“Castaway Cove brings a lot of happiness to a lot of different people,” a woman said.
And at a time when we’ve all lost so much, normal feels like the perfect ride right about now.
“Summer is going to be pretty normal,” Hartley said. “I think the public’s going to be really happy with it.”
Castaway Cove reopens on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Face masks and social distancing will be in place so everyone can enjoy the park safely.MORE NEWS: Former Bordentown Police Chief Frank Nucera Sentencing Postponed For Medical Reasons
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.