The Revitalization of Belmont Park | San Diego Destination Continues Total Modernization for Summer 2014

March 21, 2014

From WaveHouse to the Belmont Park rides and vendors, this historic Mission Beach amusement park and entertainment destination has been undergoing a complete rejuvenation in preparation for Summer 2014. Once believed to be a doomed area due to targeting by the city of San Diego, Belmont Park was taken over in 2012 and has since undergone a continued expansion. Coming soon, expect two 300 foot zip lines, a leap of faith drop, a laser tag area, a timed rock wall, a craft beer bar, a rooftop sushi lounge and more to gear Belmont up for the 21st century. 

Belmont Park was purchased by Pacific Enterprises, LLC in late 2012, and the investment firm partnered with Eat. Drink. Sleep. (owners of various locations including Tower 23 Hotel, JRDN, formerly Moondoggies) to run the amusement park and assist in reinventing the locations within.

WaveHouse received a makeover, Cannonball sushi bar and restaurant was added to the adjacent rooftop where Canes Nightclub once sat (only to since close to receive yet another renovation), and various rides and attractions, including a Dole Whip cart (yes, like Disneyland) and mini-golf course were added to San Diego's only free-to-enter, ocean-side amusement park.

In addition to the rooftop sushi-centric Cannonball reopening this spring with a new full service sushi "cube", a craft beer bar, Draft, will launch underneath, beachside in the space previously occupied by SoundWave. Expect 60+ beers on draft and 100+ bottles available, and a focus on burgers and pub fare. These two spots will certainly add to the appeal of Belmont Park as a dining destination.

The rides are also getting better at Belmont. Of course, the Giant Dipper remains a fixture, but it may not continue as the most exciting ride at the park. Two 300 ft. zip lines are being installed so people can race one another in the sky. A speed rock climbing wall is being added and willkeep track of daily records for fastest climb. A leap of faith free fall drop will open, offering patrons the chance to climb the staples of a 30 foot pole, then take the jump! A new and improved arcade area is also getting attention, as well as revamping of the laser tag arena. 

Belmont Park was developed by sugar tycoon John D. Spreckels and opened on July 4, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center. 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 at Belmont is The Plunge, an indoor swimming pool parallel to WaveHouse.

The Plunge debuted in 1925 as the largest saltwater pool in the world. It recently closed for a complete overhaul in order to update the filtration system and tend to other issues. When the pool reopens, it will be freshwater.

The crew behind Belmont Park is excited to be a part of the history of a landmark once believed to be all but done.  In 2010, WaveHouse Belmont Park LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US Bankruptcy Court citing a 700% increase in rent owed to the City of San Diego as the reason. Tom Lochtefeld, Belmont Park Manager Member, alleged the city had breached its lease agreement. 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. In 2012 Pacifica Enterprises LLC acquired the park leasehold in a bankruptcy trustee sale and has since worked tirelessly to update the park for the 21st century.

Belmont intends to have all its additions finished for late spring/early summer 2014. For more information on Belmont Park, including a complete list of vendors and attractions, visit