Ocean City’s Gillian’s Wonderland Pier faces auction, $8M debt
One of the cornerstones of the Ocean City Boardwalk, Gillian's Wonderland Pier is facing a possible bank auction after defaulting on $8 million in mortgage debt, according to a report by NBC10 Philadelphia.
Gillian's, the 91-year-old, third generation family amusement pier at 6th Street on the Ocean City Boardwalk is owned by Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian and his wife, Michelle.
According to Ted Greenberg's report on NBC10, court records in state Superior Court's Office of Foreclosure show that the Gillians owe First Priority Bank about $8 million in mortgage debt On Wonderland Pier.
Judge Michael J. Blee ordered Jan. 21 that the property be put up for auction in order to satisfy the debt.
In a statement, Gillian told NBC10 that he had found new financing and that the venerable amusement pier would not be going up for auction and would be open as usual for summer 2021.
"I want to reassure our loyal guests that Wonderland Pier will be open for business, as usual, for the 2021 season. Like many business across the nation, Gillian's Wonderland Pier was deeply affected by the COVID-19 shutdown and restrictions. But we have secured financing, and we look forward to another WONDERful summer in America's Greatest Family Resort."
NBC10 points out that bank records show the financial troubles date back to 2019, prior to the pandemic business slowdown. Gillian told NBC10 that 2019 was a "soft year" for the amusement pier.
Sunday night, Mayor Gillian posted this Facebook message announcing that Gillian's Wonderland Pier would be open for business in the summer of 2021.