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Mission Bay landmark gets $30M facelift

New management modernizes Belmont Park with zip-line, more dining options

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Crews install a new wave pool at Belmont Park. Staff photos by Michael Countis

A year ago, Belmont Park’s ownership was seeking feedback from residents and planning groups on what they wanted to see at the beachfront amusement and entertainment complex.

Now renovations are well underway to restore Belmont Park into more of a family-friendly hospitality destination with more food choices, new rides and improved existing facilities.

“We are about one-third of the way complete with our plan to revamp Belmont Park,” said Brett Miller, CEO of Eat.Drink.Sleep, the park’s property manager.

Right now, the filtration system for the Plunge swimming pool inside the Wave House Athletic Club is being replaced so that the pool can meet 2014 standards. Miller said it should be opened by March 3.

He also said the various Flow Wave water machine rides are being renovated and are expected to open in early March.

Belmont Park is also getting ready to open up new dining options, such as Draft Mission Beach, a family-style restaurant from executive chef Brad Wise, that will have burgers, organic salads, gluten-free options and craft beer on the menu.

In addition, the park’s rooftop sushi restaurant, Cannonball, is being expanded, and more fast-food options such as Hot Dog on a Stick and Dole Whip are being added.

Miller said that existing rides are being renovated and new games are being installed like laser tag and a NASCAR ride for kids.

“We are also installing a 300-foot long zip line,” Miller said.

For shopping needs, The San Diego Trading Company is opening up a location at Belmont Park the first week of April.

Miller said new security offices and surveillance systems are being built, along with new public restrooms and lockers.

“Our biggest issue in the past has been having enough adequate public restrooms,” Miller said, “and we hope to solve this problem.”

This first part of the master plan renovation at Belmont Park will be completed by the middle of April, Miller said. In November, construction will pick up again with projects to modernize the rest of the Wave House Athletic Club and add meeting space on the rooftop.

A zip-line is also being added to the Mission Bay attraction.

Miller said it will take about one more year to complete the $12 million project.

“We really want to be a big force in hospitality at Belmont Park,” Miller said. “Adding to the overall look of the beachfront entertainment complex is for it to be preserving historic elements, while adding new establishments that are more appealing to today’s consumers.

“We are taking what we have and making Belmont Park better,” Miller said. “We are just trying to get it in better condition and manage it correctly.”

The park was acquired in the fall of 2012 in a trustee sale by Rancho Santa Fe-based Symphony Asset Pool XVI, which is managed by Pacifica Enterprises.

Miller said his group and Pacifica got serious about taking over Belmont Park in March of 2012, when the property was in receivership.

“In San Diego there are few properties that have the visibility Belmont Park does,” he said.

Miller said numerous engineers, architects and contractors have been brought on to perform design work, including Molinar Construction, which has been hired to handle the tenant improvement work.

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