by Jacki Mick
The Cocoa Beach Pier may never be the same. The historic Cocoa Beach landmark, which had been owned by the Slotter family since it was built in 1962, is now under new ownership. It was confirmed this morning that Jim Gissy and David Siegel – yes that David Siegel – of time-share empire Westgate Resorts, are the new owners of the Pier. Last we reported on Siegel, he had just sent employees of Westgate an email with the vague threat that they might lose their jobs if Obama were to be re-elected and Obamacare enacted. In other words, if you want to keep your job, you better not vote for Obama.
I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about. Signed, your boss.
Well, Obama has been re-elected, Obamacare has been enacted, and Siegel is apparently still doing business in Florida. And presumably, Obamacare hasn't bankrupted him, as he and his wife, Jacqueline Siegel, resumed work on their mega-mansion (nicknamed "Versailles") in Windermere last year. And now he's invested in a prime piece of oceanfront property. At more than 800 feet long, the Cocoa Beach Pier is home to five restaurants, four bars, world famous surf festivals and about 150 employees. No word yet on the details of the makeover the new owners plan to bring to the landmark. "We're going to clean it up and fix it up," said Gissy to Florida Today. We hope the multimillion-dollar plan keeps the pier's rickety charm intact.
We don't know much about Gissy, but if you want to get to know co-owner Siegel a little better, here are some links where you can read up on his colorful past:
He was one of the subjects of the controversial documentary Versailles.
He threatened to fire his employees if Obama was elected.
He made a fortune buying up Florida land and selling it with the promises of developments that never materialized.
He once owned Mystery Fun House but turned it into a Florida Visitors Welcome Center.
Oh, and this one time, he posed with the mayor and Carol Brady/Florence Henderson at City Hall in an effort to promote the Mrs. World Contest which was hosted at Westgate Resorts in 2011.
Long live the trash king.