City of San Diego Rent Increase with Belmont Park
Beginning to Show Signs of Cracks in Attraction’s Foundation
as “The Plunge” Swimming Pools Closes for Disrepair
The Plunge shuts down video
Save The Plunge Swimming Pool and Belmont Park
from Disrepair and Get it Back Open Again
Belmont Park closed down The legendary and historic Plunge today and if I know anything about John D. Spreckels and that is he is not happy watching this mess unfold.
Now to be fair let me say that I have lived in Mission Beach fopr the better part of 25 years and have seen this place go from a bit rough around the edges to being a rather upscale beach community. Companies like Ocean Pacific Properties have come in and invested tens of millions of dollars in the real estate along the boardwalk. Belmont Park lease holder Tom Lochefeld has done the same with with Belmont Park with new rides, arcade games, The Wave House and a host of other things safe to say as “MAJOR” imporovements to the park area.
The fact is that after Belmont Park was fixed up from a total dump and restored in the 80’s it never really had the gleam it had when Mr. Spreckels opened the place in 1925 on July 4th. John Spreckels was a “sugar magnet”, but more than anything he was a kick ass entrepenuer who did things first class. When Belmont Park opened he owned the railroad (which started bringing direct train routes to Mission Beach from downtown San Diego thanks to Spreckels and bridges built over Mission Bay) the newspaper and a lot of real estate and other businesses in San Diego. “The Plunge” was “The Pool” in its day and that place was at one time one of, or “the largest” indoor saltwater pool. Large chlorine pools are going back to salt water now that people have realized how dangerous chemicals in the water can be. When Belmont Park originally opened it also had a dance hall and other rides and things to do and it was “The Place to Be” for beaches and amusement parks in the San Diego area. The current leaseholder Tom Lochtefeld has spent the better part of the last 10 years to get that park back to a world class amusement park and now the City of San Diego is about to “pull the rug” on him and play a dangerous game with the future of this popular attraction.
So how does a place go from a “world class” resort attraction to one that is being set up for a major downhill turn again due to the City of San Diego raising the lease rent and failing to negotiate and deal with the current structural problems at Belmont Park with the current lease holder and gettting them fixed.
The person who has held the lease for the last 10 years or so is Tom Lochtefeld, a local entrepreneur and guy who grew up selling corn to attraction goers as a kid. If anyone knows the history or cares it is this guy and now the city is running him out and setting up Belmont Park for another fiasco much like the City of San Diego screw up with Old Town (Throwing out another productive entreprenuer for a corporate company who screwed the place up and later were either tossed out or left but needless to say the damage was done and the park dropped in revenue, vendors and guests etc…)
Anyway as if the mess itself was not goofy enough to watch this unfold but when it comes time to get a person from the City of San Diego to 1. fix it 2. explain it and defend it and explain how it makes sense at any level the silence is deafening.
Where the heck is Kevin Faulconer, the guy who is the council rep for this area? Why is he not out fixing this mess and why is he allowing this major beach attraction to begin a down hill slide of disrepair and uncertainty?
Let’s be real honest about what San Diego is for a large percentage of workers and that is an attraction destination. Our websites earn money from hotel and vacation rental reservations. Of ALL the beaches in San Diego MISSION BEACH is the MOST POPULAR beach for tourists and locals alike. SO Why is a major public attraction in the heart of our biggest tourist beach not being taken care of and public officials not fixing the mess that is very close to sending Belmont Park back into a downward spiral of disrepair, few vendors, and uncertainty?
If you are as upset about this mess at Belmont Park as I am and would like to take action
Thanks for KUSI News and “The Office” morning news staff for covering this story and bringing it to the public!
Contact San Diego City Council person Kevin Faulconer below
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