A Multi-Generational History of Fun
Belmont Park's Legacy: A Timeless Icon of the San Diego Beachfront
THE GIANT DIPPER ROLLER COASTER
In the early 1900’s, a wealthy sugar magnate by the name of John D. Spreckels was hard at work driving the development of San Diego. A main focus of his development plan was the up-and-coming Mission Beach. In 1925, in an effort to stimulate real estate sales and to promote his electric railway, Mr. Spreckels built the Mission Beach Entertainment Center, now known as Belmont Park. One of the center’s star attractions was to be the Giant Dipper roller coaster. The 2,600 foot long coaster was created by the noted Prior & Church design team and was built in less than 2 months by local suppliers and a crew of between 100-150 workers. The original cost to build the coaster, including its two 18 passenger trains, was $150,000.
THE PLUNGE POOL
Along with the coaster, The Natatorium, which later became known as The Plunge swimming pool, was constructed as a centerpiece of the park. Both attractions opened with the park in 1925. At the time, the 60’ by 175’ pool was the largest salt-water pool in the world— holding 400,000 gallons of water. The building encapsulating The Natatorium was styled after the Spanish Renaissance style buildings that were erected in San Diego’s Balboa Park between 1915 and 1916.