Let the games begin.
The long-awaited miniature golf course at Belmar's Ninth Avenue pier is set to open for business Friday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m., officials said.
Mayor Matt Doherty will be on-hand to cut the ribbon before letting 50 Belmar Elementary School students get a free first-crack at the 18-hole course, according to a release from Borough Administrator Bill Young. The students will also be treated to free ice cream, Young said.
Doris "Dot" Taylor, wife of the late former mayor, will be honored by being the first to tee off on the brand-new course, Young said. John Taylor was a Belmar commissioner before spanning four decades as mayor from 1954 to 1983, he said.
"We are excited that minigolf is coming back to Belmar,” Doherty said in the release. “This family-friendly attraction is made possible because of the public-private partnership we have developed with operators of the popular 9th Ave. Pier Bar and Restaurant."
Belmar Elementary's superintendent, David Hallman, said in the release that he was grateful for all that Doherty, Borough Council members and Administrator Young have done for the school's students.
“From the beginning, in May of 2011, when I began my position as the superintendent and srincipal of Belmar Elementary School, Mayor Doherty, the entire Borough Council and Mr. Young have been extremely supportive of the school and have initiated numerous programs and activities to benefit our children. I look forward to continually building our collaborative relationship,” Hallman said in the release.
Chefs International, which operates both the miniature golf course and the 9th Ave. Pier, contracted and oversaw the construction and organization of course, Young said.
“Chefs International is very excited about the opening of the Ninth Avenue Pier Mini Golf. It was the vision of the mayor and council and we are happy to provide good clean fun for children of all ages and all of the residents of Belmar," Chefs International CEO Bob Cooper said in the release.
Cooper said this was the first minigolf course his company undertook and he was pleased with the way it turned out.
The course will be open daily until the weather "no longer cooperates," and then will reopen in April, Cooper said.
The course is one of the final phases in the agreement between the borough and Chefs International, Young said.