Pleasure Pier returning to Galveston

Pleasure Pier scheduled to open in May

GALVESTON, Texas - In four months, Galveston will have a brand new, major tourist attraction that will change the island's landscape.

Big plans were unveiled Monday for Galveston Island's historic Pleasure Pier.

Located on Seawall Boulevard at 25th Street, the Pleasure Pier will extend approximately 1,130 feet over the Gulf of Mexico.

The Landry's project will be home to family-oriented attractions, such as rides, games, food vendors and shops, officials said. The rides will include a 36-foot-wide, double-decker carousel, 100-foot-tall Ferris Wheel, and a steel roller coaster with a 100-foot vertical climb.

"You like tall? The towering Texas Star Flyer will be the tallest swing ride in Texas. It's going to take you 230 feet over the surface of the Gulf," said Mark Kane with Landry's. "That's going to be very exciting."

The Pleasure Pier originally opened In May 1948 and was the largest of its kind in the country. It was destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961.

The Flagship Hotel was then built on the site. Hurricane Ike destroyed the Flagship in 2008.

The $60 million tourist attraction is slated to open in late May. The pier will hold between 6,000 and 7,000 people, officials said. More than 600 jobs will be created.

"It will be a project that will totally change Seawall Boulevard and not only because of the way it's going to light up the boulevard," said Tilman Fertitta, owner of Landry's. "It will continue to be an economic boom for Galveston, along with all the other tourist attractions. It will be a great family destination. This pier will have some amazing rides on it."

"People are going to see a shine and a glow on the Seawall that has been missing for a long time," Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski said. "Galveston is back and better than ever, and the Seawall is leading the way."

Landry's Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. will be the main restaurant on the pier, with other food outlets available.

Fertitta said the Pleasure Pier will be similar to Chicago's Navy Pier, Santa Monica Pier and Coney Island's Luna Park.

The concept of the Pleasure Pier was developed by Fertitta, a Galveston native.

"We have a proven track record for projects of this magnitude and complexity, and understand what is required to convert today's battered pier into a world-class venue," Fertitta added. "Much of our plans for redeveloping the pier are inspired by the people and places that define Galveston's rich heritage.  We intend to perpetuate that vision with Pleasure Pier and create a lasting legacy for future generations."

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