Trimper’s will remove its Big Ferris Wheel starting on Monday, following a difficult situation resulting from a zoning violation. The attraction, which the park first unveiled for the season at the end of last week, sits ten feet into the public right-of-way on the Boardwalk. After a discussion with the Ocean City Mayor and Council Monday night, Trimper’s decided to remove the ride altogether.
Along with Trimper’s, the town hoped to resolve the issue, but due to reconfiguration issues along with possible removal and reconstruction costs, the company elected to scrap the Big Wheel entirely.
The Mayor and Council explained that it was in a less than ideal situation and did not wish to halt Trimper’s plans. Despite their pro-business approach, town officials insisted that rules are rules, and unless the amusement company could find a solution, then the wheel had to go.
Speaking exclusively with OceanCity.com this week, Mayor Rick Meehan made clear that while he wants to support businesses, he cannot set a precedent that violates the resort’s zoning laws. “This is not a position that we want to be in. We certainly support Trimper’s Rides and the amusement park. Last year, when the wheel was in a different location, I even went down for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. We are all there to help them because it’s a great attraction to Ocean City,” Meehan explained. “However, the Ferris wheel was erected, and it was ten feet over their property line and lies over the Boardwalk. That’s the public right-of-way, and we just can’t allow that. If we allowed Trimper’s to do this, then everyone would do it…We hope Trimper’s still has a successful summer, but this needs to be addressed.”
The location of the Big Wheel was contrary to an agreement from October when the town did not give permission for the attraction to extend out over the Boardwalk.
The wheel was quite popular in the downtown area and first came to Ocean City last year when fairs across the state faced cancellations. It was expected to remain at the Boardwalk for a 40-day tour this summer but will soon hit the road after just a few days of operation.
For those still wanting a ride on a Ferris wheel this summer in Ocean City, have no fear, there is still the famous wheel at Jolly Roger’s on the Pier.