Boardwalk Blog - Stories
For this month’s blog, with a nod to American Archives month, we would specifically like to highlight the various history resources we provide on-site and online. Take a look and you may just learn something new!
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live or work in another country? For more than two decades, the Boardwalk’s Work & Travel program has offered the unique experience for college students around the world to live and work in Santa Cruz during the Boardwalk’s busy season. Students hoping to spend their summer in sunny Santa Cruz apply and interview for jobs at the Boardwalk, spanning across all guest-facing roles, from Rides, to Foodservice, to Guest Services. These students augment our robust local hiring efforts and provide a unique cultural experience for our employees.
As one of the most historic and well-known attractions in California, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk represents the easygoing nature and beach town spirit of Santa Cruz like no other. For many West Coasters the bright red and white wooden tracks of the Giant Dipper are instantly recognizable, bringing back fond memories with friends and family. As a result of its recognizability, symbolism, and charm, the Boardwalk has starred in over 24 movies, from box office hits to campy cult classics. Here we remember the most well-known movies filmed at the Boardwalk.
A trip to the Boardwalk just isn’t complete without a fresh Texas donut or a turkey leg the size of your head. With over 42 restaurants across the park operated by concessionaires and the Boardwalk, frontline food staff work hard to keep millions of hungry guests full and satisfied year after year. In an effort to support their co-workers during a busy time of year and learn how the Boardwalk’s Foodservice Department makes their magic, blog contributors, Jessie and Emily, covered a behind-the-counter shift at two of the park’s most popular restaurants. Read on as they pull back the curtain and discover what a day in the life of Foodservice at the Boardwalk really looks like.
With our latest post we continue to honor our concessionaire families, this time commemorating Whiting’s Foods who are celebrating 70 years! To tell the story of this multi-generational family business we have a guest author, Jenny Whiting Gump. Jenny Whiting Gump is 5th generation working at Whiting’s Foods. As the Director of Marketing, she leads communication efforts to promote fun foods and job opportunities at Whiting’s Foods. Combining her love for ice cream and writing, she enjoys telling stories about her family’s legacy and we are happy to showcase her storytelling with this amazing history of the family business.
Celebrate with us and read on to learn about the 70-year history of Whiting’s Foods–You may have your own special Whiting’s Food memory to share as well…
This year a key Boardwalk family celebrates their 90th year at the amusement park. As we salute the legacy of Twisselman Enterprises we recall the decades long journey of their operations at the beach. The story begins in 1934 when current concession owner Matt Twisselman’s grandfather, Charles J. Fitzsimmons began operating games at the Boardwalk. Read on to discover the evolution of one of the longest operating Boardwalk concessionaires.
Jessica Alfaro is Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations for the Santa Cruz Seaside Company, where she ensures that the Boardwalk is running smoothly and that guests have a safe, top-notch experience. A true Santa Cruz native, Jessica has several family members that have been employed at the Boardwalk, including her mom who once worked in Ticket Sales and Parking. Jessica has worn many hats at the Boardwalk over the years, since beginning her “summer job” 26 years ago, from Game Operator to Guest Services Manager.
Spring Break marks the traditional start of the season for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Although the park has added many winter events over the years, with Spring Break the promotion of the Boardwalk begins in earnest. In the early 1980s Marq Lipton joined the Boardwalk to oversee promotions and events. Join him as he remembers one of his favorite, and most challenging, Spring Break promotions, the long-established Easter Egg Hunt. It may even stir up your own memories of this fun and exciting event!
Since the beginning, food has been at the heart of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Many remember the savory and sweet aromas of turnover pies sold from 1917-1968, or have tried the beloved corndogs that have been enjoyed since opening day. Today, the Boardwalk’s culinary team makes it their mission to elevate the traditional theme park dining experience by serving a diverse variety of delectable treats that match anyone’s palette—fueling guests up so they are ready to enjoy a day of rides and fun. Check out my round-up of healthy and unique California-style dining options that you might not realize can be found at the ‘walk.