Asbury Park was at one time a shining jewel of tourism for NJ. Along with Atlantic City, it was the place to go for fun at the shore during the early 1900’s. When the automobile gave families the access to remote places for fun & relaxation people flocked to the ocean shore because of it’s natural beauty and ability to provide safe and relatively inexpensive fun.
Asbury Park fell into a pool of economic woes due to greed and financial mismanagement. There have been several efforts by the town to redevelop itself in the past 20 years and all have failed, in some cases because of direct fraud, other times because of bribes and kickbacks.
In 2002 new plans emerged which would’ve included the demolition of the Stone Pony. Protests and involvement by Bruce Springstein led to design changes. The Palace was another story. They couldn’t sell it on Ebay for 2.5 million, and even though it was on the National Register of Historic places, it was torn down in 2004. Only Tillie remains, now sitting on top of the Stone pony.
The new focus is on the Casino where there used to be an ice skating rink. It was transformed into a flea market and later a skate park during the 90’s but has been rotting forever and the question is what to do with it? The current plan is to save the front half, where the roof is still viable, and demolish the back half where the roof is gone.