OCEAN CITY — A change in the management of the historic Trimper’s Rides was announced this week, but the branch of the iconic family taking over the reins has vowed continuity at the fixture on the south end of the Boardwalk for over 125 years.
Since 1890, the Trimper family has owned and operated the historic Trimper’s Rides amusement park and other businesses at the south end of the Boardwalk, collectively known as Windsor Resort Inc. At different times during the park’s rich 125-year-plus history, various branches of the Trimper family, extending out in a long family tree from founder Daniel B. Trimper and his wife Margaret, have managed the park.
On the eve of the 2020 season, a season marked with uncertainty at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, the management of Trimper’s Rides is changing again. The Granville Trimper family, which has operated the park since 1980, announced this week in a formal statement, a different branch of the same historic tree will be running Trimper’s Rides going forward in 2020.
“For over 25 years, the Trimper family has been putting smiles on the faces of children of all ages,” the Granville Trimper family’s statement reads. “As we prepare for the 2020 season, we have undergone a change in management here at the park. The Granville Trimper family will be stepping aside to allow a different branch of Trimpers to take Trimper’s Rides into a new decade.”
The Granville Trimper family extended thanks to the many generations that have made the iconic park such an important part of their Ocean City experience for well over a century and wished the best of luck to the new management team.
“It has been our distinct pleasure to bring happiness and joy to all who walked through our doors for over 125 years,” the family’s statement reads. “We would like to thank you all for letting us be a part of your family’s memories and we wish all the best to the new management team on their future.”
With change comes uncertainty and it is not yet clear what the Trimper family’s new management team has in store for the park. For generations, the family has tip-toed a fine line between maintaining the nostalgia enjoyed by generations and keeping the park new and fresh for future generations. Although the branch of the Trimper family taking over the management of the park has not made any official statement, the latest addition to the history of the park on the Trimper’s Rides website suggests the nostalgic elements will remain along with some new additions.
“A new generation of shareholders have taken over the park and are excited for its new plans for Trimper’s Rides of Ocean City’s 2020 season,” the latest section of the park’s history on the website reads. “The new management of Windsor Resort Inc. is proud to announce the addition of 11 new and exciting rides including Madagascar and Hang Ten coming to the park this spring, while still maintaining historic favorites such as our 1902 Herschel-Spillman carousel, Himalaya and Tidal Wave that have been enjoyed for generations.”
Daniel Trimper and his wife Margaret opened the park in 1893 with a pair of hotels and a handful of amusements. In 1900, after a severe storm, Daniel Trimper rebuilt the Sea Bright Hotel and modeled it after the Windsor Castle in Great Britain and the two hotels coupled with the growing amusement park became known as the Windsor Resort.
In 1912, Trimper’s purchased the massive carousel that still operates today from the Herschell-Spillman Company in New York. The massive carousel is 50 feet in diameter and was driven by a steam engine in the early days. The unique carousel features 45 animals including, of course, a variety of horses, but also includes a menagerie of other animals such as a cat, dog, frog, rooster, deer, goat, lion, tiger, ostrich, pig and dragon, for example.
Over the years, the Trimper’s added numerous rides in the historic indoor portion of the park and several have historical significance, including the smaller carousel and the kiddie Ferris wheel, which date to the 1920s. Trimper’s also has one of the largest collections of antique kiddie rides manufactured by kiddie ride pioneer William F. Mangels and the park is recognized for its vintage haunted house and pirate’s cove attractions.
In the 1950s, the Trimper family began adding outdoor rides and the pace of expansion increased through the 1960s with new rides being added nearly every year. One of the most popular rides in the park, the double-loop Tidal Wave roller coaster, was added in 1985 and has become a fixture on the downtown skyline.