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Santa Monica Pier Launches "Secret Story Tour"

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By Lookout Staff

October 6, 2020 -- The Santa Monica Pier's past is coming alive with an “immersive digital quest” that tells the untold story of the wooden structure's 110-year history.

The "Secret Story Tour" -- created by the renowned game design duo, The Wild Optimists, for the Pier Corporation -- offers a family-friendly, location-based digital tour.

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During the tour, "guests solve a total of 12 puzzles on their quest, each revealing a fun fact or untold story from the Pier’s rich history," Pier officials said.

Pier's "Secret Story Tour"
"Secret Story Tour" (Courtesy Santa Monica Pier Corporation)

"Each puzzle game unlocks the next when solved, creating an engaging immersive experience that invites guests to discover multiple points throughout the Pier," they said.

Each of the clues also offers a photo filter before moving to the next clue "to capture and share the experience along the way," officials said.

“We can't think of a better time to bring this digital/physical hybrid experience to life,” said Negin Singh, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation.

“We know that everyone, especially families, are looking for safe and fun activities, and we are lucky to have puzzle masters like the Wild Optimists, and an open-air space to make it happen."

The location-based tour can be downloaded in the app store and can only be experienced while visiting the Pier, officials said.

This allows guests to "explore the Pier and solve the quest at their leisure and from safe distances."

The Secret Story Tour will launch October 15 for $19.99 and is available now for download on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Originally two separate piers, the world famous structure -- now the oldest pleasure pier on the West Coast-- opened in 1909, attracting thousands of visitors.

Though the pier was originally constructed primarily to carry sewer pipes beyond the breakers, visitors were thrilled to walk above the water along the 1,600-foot long concrete pier, the first concrete pier in the west coast.

In 1916, Charles Looff, a world-renowned amusement park entrepreneur, purchased the land just south of the Pier and started construction on an amusement pier, the first one in the area.

In 1922, the Carousel, which features 44 hand-carved horses, was built on the Looff's Pier and still stands today in the Hippodrome.

It wasn't until the 1970s that the City of Santa Monica purchased the land and combined it with the municipal pier to create what is now one of the biggest tourist attractions in the bayside city.

The Pier is open daily with limited operations and capacity. Face coverings are required and all guests are encouraged to practice physical distancing.

For more information on health and safety guidelines as well as details on what to expect when visiting the Pier visit

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