Just weeks before it was to be sold at a special auction, the company that has run it for the past 20 years has bought Atlantic City’s legendary Steel Pier.
Trump Entertainment Group, Inc., owner of the 1,000-foot “Showplace of the Nation,” has sold the pier to Steel Pier Associates, LLC. The company, which consists of the three Catanoso brothers—Charles, Anthony and William—as well as longtime partner Ed Olwell, has been leasing the pier and operating an amusement park there since 1993. Offering rides and attractions, food, carnival booths and a helicopter tour, the Catanoso family has kept the spirit of the structure alive from spring to fall for the past two decades.
“This purchase means more to us than just owning the structure on which we operate an amusement park,” said Anthony Catanoso, president of Steel Pier Associates. “For us, it’s an honor to own something that has touched and entertained so many people over the years.”
Looking to consolidate its holdings, Trump Entertainment planned to offer the pier at auction on August 25, but the Catanosos—which had a lease agreement until 2016— scooped up the property for $4.25 million before the bidding could begin. They now retain the rights to the Steel Pier name, as well as the 113-year-old landmark pier and its buildings.
“As a lease holder, we were unable to make long-term plans. As the owner of Steel Pier, we now have some amazing opportunities that we will be evaluating for the future,” the company stated in a press release.
Some of those plans could be a full-scale expansion, as Steel Pier Associates, LLC has named a new partner, entertainment architect Paul Steelman. Atlantic City native Steelman is internationally known for his designs, including several casino resorts in Macau. Steel Pier remains the only full-scale, family-friendly amusement pier in Atlantic City.