NORTH WILDWOOD - Back in 1912, Robert Moore drifted to Five Mile Island from South Philadelphia and built a summer tavern at the corner of Old New Jersey and Spruce. He called it
, and it stayed in business nearly a century.
The latest generation of Moores finally succumbed to the skyrocketing real estate values and sold out last year to Beazer Homes, which is putting up The Pointe at Moore's Inlet, a 60-condominium complex.
The Jersey Shore changes mercurially and glacially. Sometimes a spot is hot one season and gone the next, but more often it's like Moore's Inlet - a favored place built into generations of Shore memories - that suddenly succumbs to changing times.
Where once you could enjoy Moore's water views for the price of a beer, you'll now pay upward of $649,900 for a two-bedroom, two-bath "Strathmere" or $1.29 million for a three-bedroom, two-bath "Spring Lake."
Here are some other Shore landmarks that are going, gone or in transition.
A roller coaster ride
The proposed Trump hotel/retail expansion on Steel Pier across the Boardwalk from the Trump Taj Mahal is still getting permits finalized, so Atlantic Pier Amusements will continue to run its 24-ride park there at least through Labor Day.The days of the famous diving horses and shows from the likes of Frank Sinatra or the Temptations are gone, but at least there will be a Ferris wheel and go-karts for one more summer.
Roll the credits
The Beach Theatre on Beach Avenue across from the center of the Cape May beach promenade may be on its last picture shows. A group is trying to buy and restore the Beach as it looked when it opened in June 1950 with "Father of the Bride," but owner Franks Investments wants to turn it into retail and condos.
The City of Cape May is on with the restoration plan, promising to lend the Beach Theatre Foundation $100,000, but it will take $12 million to buy and restore the place - a long shot at best.
No more ticket to ride
E-ZPass for bumper cars?
At the three Morey's Piers in Wildwood and North Wildwood, they've unveiled MOR-EZ ticket cards, a credit-card-like affair that ride operators swipe at the entry gates. Customers can load up the cards at home via the Internet (www.moreyspiers.com), or at kiosks on the piers.
Par for the courses
Blue Heron Pines Golf Course East in the Cologne section of Galloway Township was good enough to host the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2003, but today it's a housing development.
Back open to the public, though, is Atlantic City Country Club, one of the nation's oldest, dating to 1897. In the Harrah's takeover of Caesars, the new management decided to reconvert it from a private course to a public one.
Atlantic City Country Club is said to be the place where the "birdie," for a one-under-par score, got its name. Now, for a mere $180 a round Mondays through Thursdays and $206 on weekends, you, too, can shoot a bird at its seminal course. (www.harrahs.com/golf or 609-236-4431).
When it comes to clubs, it's one-in, one-out at the Tropicana Casino & Resort. TSOP, The Sound of Philadelphia, inspired by the Gamble-and-Huff Philly Sound and run by the Bynum brothers, Philly's jazz and blues entrepreneurs, closed at The Quarter, the Trop's entertainment complex, in October.
Next month, The Quarter will get Providence, a DJ/dance type of place with four outlets in New York that will open at 10 p.m. most nights. Its Manhattan locations have been sites of MTV and VH1 shoots and wrap parties for "The Sopranos" and "The Apprentice" - celebrity action that may shift to the Trop. *