New Year’s Eve marks the end of an era for a long-running attraction on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
After more than 25 years of showcasing all things strange and bizarre, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! will close for good at 6 p.m. Dec. 31, according to Manager Chris Connelly.
Since opening in June 1996, the 12,000-square-foot “odditorium” became a popular destination for families, casino-goers taking a break from the action and Boardwalk passersby. It boasts 14 themed galleries with more than 400 exhibits, featuring artifacts such as a spider made from scissors and knives, a roulette table built using 14,000 jellybeans and what’s billed as the world’s smallest production car.
In a message posted on its website, the museum said it was “saddened to announce” the permanent closure and thanked team members, the community and guests “who have made our stay here memorable.”
According to Connelly, the terms of the franchise agreement between property owner RIPAC LLC and Ripley’s expired, resulting in the closure. Connelly declined to comment on why the pact was not renewed, saying he was not involved in the meetings between the franchisee and Ripley’s.
While the current tenant will permanently shutter its doors, the owners of the property plan to reimagine the space “into a new and different attraction in the near future,” said Connelly, who has been with Ripley’s since it opened in Atlantic City and will have a similar role with the yet-to-be-announced business.
The Vault Laser Maze Challenge, an attraction at the same property, will close during renovations but Connelly said they “hope that it will continue to be a part of our new concept that reopens in 2023.”
Located at 1441 Boardwalk, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Additionally, there is a 20% discount on all merchandise until closing.