Pier Park Makes Move For It's Own Amusment Rides

City Attorney addresses Planning Board during meeting
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PANAMA CITY BEACH - The Panama City Beach Planning Board agreed to a proposal that would allow pier park to build as many as ten amusement park rides on the complex, but now without some opposition.

The people who used to operate an amusement park at Pier Park are fighting the plan..

The year after Pier Park opened in 2008, Jenny and Teddy Meeks bought the old merry-go-round from the old Miracle Strip Amusement Park, and opened it on Pier Park property.

It went over so well, the Meeks began buying more of the old Miracle Strip rides, and Miracle Strip Pier Park was born.

The Meeks say they approached Pier Park management about a long term lease but each time they say Pier Park offered only a one year deal.

So the Meeks bought property to the southeast of Pier Park, and last year they broke ground on a new Miracle Strip that opened this past April.

Pier Park management, Simon Malls, fought the move through the city, but lost.

Now, Simon officials wants the city to give them permission to operate ten amusement park rides of their own.

The Meeks' say 'Pier Park Amusements' is not following the rules.

Jenny Meeks says, "The Pier Park D-R-I is in non-compliance. It is overbuilt in many sections including the sections that we just left and it is overbuilt in restaurants . There's a lot of issues that Simon and Pier Park's D-R-I is just not holding what they're supposed to be doing and we'll prove that."

But city officials say the rules have changed since 2009.

Mel Leonard is the Panama City Beach Planning Board Director and said, "What Miracle Strip was contending today was when they established their new site they had to go through the conditional use requirements that are currently in place and one of the arguments is that this new ten ride amusement park at Pier Park should have to go through that same process if it's to be allowed in the first place."

Planning Board members approved Simon's request for the amusement park rides at Pier Park, but the city council has the final approval and that's where the Meeks plan to appeal the Planning Board's decision.

Jenny Meeks added, "Today was just a dress rehearsal for the city council meeting June 26th."

Council members will most likely agree during this Thursday's meeting to advertise the issue for discussion at their meeting in two weeks.