Belmont Park (San Diego)

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Belmont Park
Belmont Park with Giant Dipper.jpg
View of the entrance to Belmont Park with the Giant Dipper roller coaster in the background
Location Mission Bay, San Diego, California, USA
Coordinates 32°46′17″N 117°15′8″W / 32.77139°N 117.25222°W / 32.77139; -117.25222Coordinates: 32°46′17″N 117°15′8″W / 32.77139°N 117.25222°W / 32.77139; -117.25222
Opened July 4, 1925 (1925-07-04)
Website Official website

Belmont Park is a historic oceanfront amusement park located in the Mission Bay area of San Deiego, California. The park was developed by sugar magnate John D. Spreckels and opened on July 4, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center.[1] In addition to providing recreation and amusement it also was intended as a way to help Spreckels sell land in Mission Beach. Located on the beach, it attracts millions of people each year.

The attractions and rides that remain from the original 1925 park include the Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another historic facility is The Plunge, an indoor swimming pool.[2] The Plunge was originally a salt water pool; it now contains fresh water and features a "Whaling Wall" painting by artist Wyland titled Orcas off Point Loma. In 2013 the California Coastal Commission approved plans to remove a portion of the Wyland mural during planned renovations of The Plunge.[3]

Other amusements include a Tilt-A-Whirl, a three-story drop tower (the "Vertical Plunge"), the Liberty Carousel, and the Wave House Athletic Club. The Wave House Bar and Grill overlooks the ocean and features two artificial waves. The larger wave is a FlowBarrel called "Bruticus Maximus" (or "bmax") and features an 8-foot barreling wave. The other wave is a smaller sheet wave known as a FlowRider. Newer attractions for 2010 include a SkyRopes obstacle course, a Moser Gyro Loop dubbed "Control Freak" and a Chance Unicoaster dubbed "Octotron." The park's rides including the Giant Dipper, are operated by the San Diego Coaster Company.

In 2002, businessman/surfer Tom Lochtefeld bought the master lease for the property and started development of the Wave House. In Spring 2006, the Wave House hosted MTV's Total Request Live.








Current Attractions[edit]

  • Giant Dipper
  • Vertical Plunge
  • Control Freak
  • Liberty Carousel
  • Tilt-A-Whirl
  • Crazy Submarine
  • Speedway Bumper Cars
  • Beach Blaster
  • Thunder Boats
  • Krazy Kars
  • Octotron
  • Sky Ropes
  • The Wavehouse
  • Rush Lazer Tag and Arcade
  • Lazer Maze
  • Tiki Town Adventure Golf

Former Attractions[edit]

  • Sea Serpent - Relocated to Belmont's sister park, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in 2000 to make room for Chaos in 2004
  • Baja Buggies - Traded in 2004 for the Beach Blaster
  • Chaos - Traded in October 2010 to Chance Rides for Octotron
  • Pirates Cove - Closed down in 2004
  • Fat Boyz Family Fun Arcade - Converted into Pirates Of Belmont Mini Golf and Arcade
  • Pirates of Belmont - Converted into Rush Lazer Tag and Arcade
  • Magic Mirror Maze - Closed in 2012


In the early 1980s the San Diego City Council led by Councilman Mike Gotch called for proposals to redevelop Belmont Park and clean up the area which had fallen into disrepair and was occupied by homeless, drunks and vagrants selling drugs. The city received five redevelopment bids but eventually decided not to take action at that time. Later the matter was reopened and the City's Real Estate Development Department was authorized to contact architect Paul Thoryk and developer Graham MacHutchin regarding their proposal since it was the only development that restored the Plunge, the city's historic public swimming pool. On June 24, 1986 the City Council voted 6 to 1 to grant an exclusive right to negotiate a lease on the site with Thoryk & MacHutchin who by then were joined by a subsidiary of San Diego Gas & Electric as a partner in Belmont Park Associates. The parties negotiated a lease, plans were completed and approved, and construction began including the demolition and reconstruction of the exterior walls of the Plunge building which did not meet earthquake code requirements. The redeveloped Belmont Park and Plunge Building reopened in the summer of 1988.

On November 3, 2010 Wave House Belmont Park LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US Bankruptcy Court (Bankruptcy Petition #: 10-19663-11) citing a 700% increase in rent owed to the City of San Diego as the reason. Tom Lochtefeld, Belmont Park Manager Member, alleges the city has breached its lease agreement.[4] In 2011 Lochtefeld filed a $25 million lawsuit against the City of San Diego accusing the city of breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation for preventing him from completing a second major expansion of the park including adding a hotel. That suit was settled in November 2013 after Lochtefeld decided not to pursue the case against the city.[5]

In 2012 Pacifica Enterprises LLC. acquired the park leasehold in a bankruptcy trustee sale.[6]


  1. ^ San Diego Historical Society timeline
  2. ^
  3. ^ Orca mural facing extinction
  4. ^
  5. ^ Belmont Park Suit Settlement
  6. ^ Belmont Park Getting a Makeover

External links[edit]