With this year's addition of amusement rides, there was lots of fun to be found in Carolina Beach this summer. It was part of a larger effort that's working to revitalize the boardwalk. The bright lights and glow of amusements rides on the boardwalk has become a symbol of revitalization in Carolina Beach. “You know, just a few years ago locals wouldn't come down here, I wouldn't bring friends and family here when they visited. It was pretty dismal,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wilcox. But this year, an effort to restore the family fun atmosphere of the past got a boost when amusement rides arrived at the boardwalk. About fifteen temporary rides have called the boardwalk home for the summer months, the first rides on the boardwalk in over ten years. As the summer unofficially comes to a close, town officials and business owners can agree that having rides like this one here has been an investment in fun that's really paid off. “You know, the locals that have lived here for years are now able to come down here and walk around in a clean, attractive, friendly environment and have an ice cream or some doughnuts, listen to some music, play some bingo, its just been great to see the locals come back,” Wilcox said. In fact, even in this economy, the boardwalk has been home to many success stories in business this summer. Wilcox added, “Many that I’ve talked to and at least half of them, not even on the boardwalk, in the business district, have had their best year since they've been in business.” Town officials say they plan to welcome the rides back to the boardwalk next summer for an even longer stay, starting before Memorial Day.
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