Some may say it is par for the course while others may call it progress, but I wholeheartedly disagree with both. A couple of options for golf fans and family fun fans are gone forever in favor of a storage facility...and it upsets me.  Here's what I know.

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A year ago I moved to Bayville and set my sights on family fun. Due to COVID-19 and safety measures, there was little fun to find. Much of the available locations were 15-30 minutes away in places like Toms River, Seaside Heights, Howell, Jackson, and Freehold. One place I identified for future fun in Bayville included an arcade, miniature golf, batting cages, and other rides, Blackbeard's Cave Family Entertainment Center. A few months ago, I learned that I'd have to wait another year as I shared the sad news that Blackbeard's in Bayville would be taking the season off, planning to revitalize for 2022.  Well, there's been another twist.

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While Blackbeard's still plans on returning, Jersey Shore Online reports that much of the facility will be turned into a storage center. They cite information from a recent Zoning Board meeting.  They say that "the driving range and the parking lot would be demolished to make room for 91,260 square feet of self-storage and a small office. There would be 22 stalls in the back where people could park RVs and boats for storage." Here's what that means for the 2 businesses on that property.

Credit: JB

Bill's BBQ Shack is not going anywhere. The pulled pork, bacon cheeseburgers, burnt endz, and the rest of your favorites will remain. Lindsay Parrott, General Manager, tells me that "Blackbeard's and Bill's BBQ Shack will be here for a long time." She shares that they have ambitious plans to revitalize.  While the miniature golf, driving range, batting cages, water wars, spin zone, and go-karts will not be a part of the future, new events and opportunities will be.

Lindsay says they'd like to be the home for high-value seasonal events, like Halloween with pumpkin picking and face painting and winter with "lights for a family-friendly quick walkthrough with ornaments, cookies, hot chocolate, and Christmas trees for sale."  The big picture vision for summertime is even more exciting, "our dream is to turn the old pool into a splash park and hold a summer camp or have sections like picnic areas, camping, sandboxes, etc." I, for one, love the ideas and ambitions.  While some of the attractions may change, the family fun appears poised to return and I'm rooting for it to happen big time!

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