Asbury Park, NJ
By Bret Malone

The Casino Part 2: The Decline... (and the rise?)
The Casino would operate for several more years, until the Un-thinkable crime happened. A plan was devised (driven both by greed and a complete and total disregard of history) to do away with both the Casino and Palace Amusement buildings in favor of Condos and upscale townhouss.
Eventually, all the boardwalk amusements did close down - and most remain boarded today. However, something even more bizarre took place. The two fun-spots, groomed to die a harsh death, actually out-lived both the finances and badly planned real estate developments. The half finished condos, politics and greed rearing there ugly heads, the proposed re-development of Asbury park and the City. What a Joke! It never happened, and now the Boardwalk area is in even deeper decay.

Even the famed "Stone Pony" momentarily suffered. An institution all its own, the bar is where many a Jersey Band performed -- including local favorite "The Boss". As of this writing it's open for business with a full schedule of live bands.
The Convention Hall also fell silent for years. However it now enjoys the sporadic return of concert-goers. So the newest chapter in the life of Asbury Park is yet to be written; The fat lady (Laffing Sal?) has not yet sung.

The Casino's interior rides were sold off piecemeal and carted away on trucks, station wagons and the like. Soon after the three section building began to deteriorate: the back portion collapsed, the ocean side lay in complete ruins while the middle with the front sections looking horrible too. An attempt to turn the building into a weekend Flea Market was a bust! There was a failed attempt at turning the building into a city skate board park, but, as of this writing, struggled but eventually went bust.

But wait, I had almost forgotten...
"There's still the bigger building across the parking lot, the Palace" I thought to myself. "OK, almost out of tickets sans for a few, I figured I might as well check it out. If the Casino is this good, I can't even begin to fathom what the bigger building holds in store for me". Not realizing that I was speaking out loud, I zippered up my coat, walked out those great Glass and Round Doors into the bitter cold as the huge grin of "Tillie" drew me on over to this, his "House of Fun". It began to snow though, and it started to come down quite hard as I walked on over to this mecca of colored neon.

Finally, I reached up and pulled open the Palace front doors

and ...

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This page was last updated Tuesday, May 11, 2001