Wildwood's Golden Nugget Set to be Razed

New Jersey is losing its most famous gold mine after nearly 48 years.

The Golden Nugget Mine Ride on the old Hunt's Pier in Wildwood is scheduled to be razed soon after Jan. 31.

The coaster opened in 1960 and featured gimmicks like giant bats and cowboy skeletons along its 850-foot tracks.

Eventually, it was made over with a dinosaur theme.

Over the years, about 1.7 million people rode it.

The three-story ride is a well-known landmark in Wildwood but it's rickety rails haven't seen a rider since 1999.

The Morey Organization bought the pier in 2000, hoping to restore the ride to its past glory. But the company says that would have cost $3 to $5 million.

Enthusiasts won't be able to ride on the old tracks Jan. 31, but they will be able to take their pictures in the remaining cars.

On Jan. 31, the Morey family will officially bid the Golden Nugget farewell with a ceremony on Hunt's Pier, one of many piers the family owns along the boardwalk.

An ambitious new coaster, which could stretch across the beach between piers, is in the works, Morey claims, as well as a new haunted house, which could fill the void left when another Wildwood landmark, Castle Dracula, burned down in 2002.

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