|Cocoa Beach Pier. Brevard Times / file.|
COCOA BEACH, Florida -- The Cocoa Beach Pier has been sold to David Siegel, President and CEO of Westgate Resorts, and longtime business associate Jim Gissy.
The iconic Space Coast landmark was built by the Stottler family in 1962 and over the years has evolved into a Central Florida beach destination for families. The pier spans 800 feet in length and is currently home to five restaurants and bars, and numerous gift shops. Siegel and Gissy plan to renovate the pier and make it the premier family dining and entertainment destination for the Central Florida/Cocoa Beach community.
"A large part of my family grew up in the Cocoa Beach area and we have many wonderful memories of the time spent here," said Siegel. "We are honored to become the custodians of this magnificent landmark and we are fortunate to have the resources necessary to ensure that the legacy of the pier is protected and renovated in a first-class manner."
According to Gissy, "I'm very excited to partner with David Siegel on this amazing project. He is one of the most successful businessmen in the state of Florida and it was my lucky day when I started working for him over 30 years ago. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to work with him on this iconic Florida landmark."
Members of the Siegel family have called Brevard County home since 1972. During this time, David Siegel founded one of Central Florida's most popular indoor family attractions – the Mystery Fun House in Orlando, Florida – where he and his family learned the hospitality industry. Siegel grew this early business into Westgate Resorts, which is now the largest privately owned timeshare company in the world. Siegel plans to utilize the pier as a means to bring his children into the family business and learn the art of entertaining families.
Mark Mrozinski, Vice President of Retail, Dining and Spa Operations of Westgate Resorts, will be managing the pier from the Orlando Corporate Offices. Brian Siegel, Vice President of Risk Management, a resident of Merritt Island, who also grew up in Cocoa Beach and graduated from Cocoa Beach High School in 1981, will also help oversee the pier.
Lori Stottler, daughter of the late Rick Stottler and founder of the Cocoa Beach Pier, stated, "My father always had a vision to elevate the pier to become an icon of the local tourism industry. Our family chose David and Jim because of David's longstanding family ties to the local community and the vision that David and Jim shared with our late father. They are the ideal team to carry on the legacy of the world-famous Cocoa Beach Pier."