FAR HILLS, N.J., Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Casino Pier in Seaside Heights proudly claims to being home to one of only two surviving American made classic carousels in the state -- the 1910 Dentzel Grand Carousel. The carousel's reputation extends far beyond the state. It is considered one of the one of the finest, most prestigious carousels ever created. But it seems legacy isn't enough to save the amusement attraction that many New Jersey residents remember from their childhood. Even when news of the pier's destruction from Hurricane Sandy appeared on front pages of every news outlet across America in the aftermath of the 2012 storm, the ride miraculously survived the destruction from 2012 storm. The damage, however, caused to the surrounding communities chased away homeowners, businesses and tourism. Since 2014, the attraction has been on the auction block, and, there is danger the attraction could be auctioned off, in the words of auction house Guernsey, "horse by horse."
However, help may be on the way. New Jersey based entrepreneur Tom Maoli, has just tendered a letter of intent to purchase the carousel to Guernsey Auction, the company in charge of selling the carousel and its assets. His plan is to relocate it somewhere on the New Jersey waterfront.
The Grand Carousel has been a part of New Jersey history since 1932 when it arrived in Seaside Heights after being destroyed in a fire at Island Beach Park in Burlington County, New Jersey. Maoli adds, "It deserves to remains intact and in New Jersey, and I'm making every effort to make that happen." Maoli added he is working with several towns that have shown great interest in having the carousel become an attraction in their town. This includes Burlington county, where the ride was originally housed at the turn of the century.
The Carousel was built in 1910, during the "Golden Age" of carousels, which generally lasted from the mid-1890s through the 1920s. Some of the animals, however, were carved as early as the 1890s. There are a total of 58 animals on the ride, most of which were hand carved by William Dentzel of Philadelphia. Charles Looff, from Coney Island, and famed Italian carver, Salvatore Conigliaro, also carved some of the animals. It has two large "chariot" seats, and 18 paintings top the center casing. A Wurlitzer Military Band Organ, which supplies the music for the ride, was built in 1923.
Maoli believes the New Jersey waterfront would be the ideal new home for the venerable ride. "The next phase of the carousel's life should be on the New Jersey waterfront, with New York City serving as its backdrop."
In addition to his car dealerships, Maoli is President and CEO of Real Estate Opportunity Investments, LLC. REOI is a real estate company that specializes in purchasing, holding, developing and operating retail shopping centers, office buildings and residential developments throughout the Northeast. 2015 and 2016 have been auspicious years for Maoli. He was named to Governor Christie's Presidential Leadership team and is also now a member of Donald Trump for President fundraising and transition team. Maoli was also honored as the Morris County Columbus Day parade's Man of the Year. No stranger to good causes, Maoli is also a large supporter of the Morris County Community Food Bank and the Morris County Interfaith Food Pantry.
Contact: Larry M. Weiner, APR, Fellow PRSA
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SOURCE Tom Maoli