The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is one of the five Best Seaside Parks in the world, according to industry magazine Amusement Today, which extended the honor to the local beach pier during its recent annual Golden Ticket Awards announcement.
Pleasure Pier extends the fun over the gulf in the same location as Galveston’s original pier dedicated in May 1948 as the largest amusement park of its kind in the country, only to be destroyed in 1961 during Hurricane Carla. Much later, following three years of planning and a massive $60 million construction project by Landry’s Inc., the new Pleasure Pier opened for Memorial Day Weekend in May 2012.
Forbes-ranked billionaire Tilman Fertitta is the sole owner, chairman and CEO of Landry’s.
Pleasure Pier boasts 16 rides along with games, entertainment, food venues including Landry’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., retail shops and other family-oriented attractions. The Texas-sized 120-foot-wide, 1,130-foot-long pier spans from Galveston Seawall Boulevard into the Gulf of Mexico. All rides start 30 feet above the waves, and many take thrill seekers much higher. Texas Star Flyer, the state's highest swing ride, swooshes guests back and forth 230 feet over the water.
In addition to Pleasure Pier, Amusement Today’s 2014 Golden Ticket Awards recipients are Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Pleasure Back in Blackpool, England; Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, N.J.; and Grona Lund in Stockholm, Sweden.
Amusement Today's U.S. ballots are divided into four geographical regions, with about the same number of industry publication panel voters in each region.