Community gathers to celebrate grand reopening of iconic pool with inaugural plunge
San Diego CA— The Plunge at Fit marked the official return of the iconic beachfront pool in Belmont Park today. Re-opening its doors to the public July 4, the important piece of local history makes its comeback to the City of San Diego. Pacifica Enterprises celebrated the highly anticipated completion of its $12 million restoration and construction of the new Plunge at Fit alongside San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, Fit Athletic Club and community leaders. As part of the celebration, nearly a dozen local children took the inaugural plunge into the approximately 400,000 gallon swimming pool, ushering in the next of many future generations of guests who will enjoy the renewed Plunge at Fit and other refreshed experiences throughout Belmont Park.
“The Plunge at Fit in Belmont Park is a beloved landmark for Mission Beach residents and the entire city of San Diego,” Mayor Faulconer said. “It has long been a place for children, families and neighbors to exercise and make memories together, and this restoration ensures that many more generations of San Diegans can enjoy that same experience.”
Photos courtesy: Fit Athletic Club
Rich History, Bright Future
Although it now features a fresh new look, the Plunge at Fit has a rich history. The Natatorium, which later became known as the Plunge swimming pool, was constructed as a centerpiece of the Mission Beach Amusement Center along with the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster in 1925. At the time of its opening, the 60-by-175 foot pool was the largest salt water pool in the world, holding 400,000 gallons of water.
In 1940, the salt water of The Plunge began to damage its filtration system and fresh water was brought in to fill the pool. The Plunge then became “the largest indoor heated pool in Southern California,” at 12,000 square feet. A series of safety and maintenance issues in the decades that followed led to the pool’s closing in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Pacifica Enterprises embarked on a nearly three year project to restore this beloved attraction to its iconic status.
Pacifica Enterprises refreshed the beachfront pool and building with a new contemporary design, featuring floor-to-ceiling glass walls that maximize ocean views and a retractable roof that allows for a climate-controlled environment. Working closely with City of San Diego’s Historical Resources Board and Save Our Heritage Organisation, Pacifica Enterprises included historical features from the original 1925 structure as well as replicas of original entrance archways and pool tiles. To enhance the total experience, the Plunge at Fit now includes a dining deck connecting to the newly renovated Beach House for guests to enjoy food, drinks and a fresh ocean breeze.
“The community of Mission Beach is very excited to finally see the Plunge re-open its doors again. Pacifica and Belmont Park have been great at keeping our community appraised of this project’s progress and evolution with visits and updates at our Mission Beach Town Council general meetings,” said Matt Gardner, President of the Mission Beach Town Council. “We understood the need for a total rebuild and even enjoyed seeing the progress take place right next to our regular meeting space. Belmont Park has also graciously offered our members pool membership discounts and many of us are excited to don our swimwear and jump in. We would like to thank Pacifica Enterprises for doing a fantastic job overseeing Belmont Park and the completion of the Plunge is further testament to their well-earned respect in our community.”
The Plunge at Fit project team also included Lusardi Construction, Jules Wilson Design Studio and Hollis Design.
Plunge at Fit Opens to Guests on Fourth of July
Guests will be able to enjoy the pool’s long-awaited return beginning tomorrow. The Plunge at Fit in Belmont Park will open to the public daily between the hours of noon – 5:00 p.m. A range of daily and monthly Plunge membership options will be available with discounts for groups, select community members, guests under 17, and guests 65 and up. Aqua classes, swim lessons and water safety clinics will also be offered this summer. Passes and memberships can be purchased on site at the north entrance of the pool located at 3115 Ocean Front Walk.
“The opening of the Plunge at Fit, along with the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster’s 94th birthday tomorrow, will make summer at Belmont Park greater than ever,” said Belmont Park’s General Manager Steve Thomas, on Wednesday. “Our guests have been eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the Plunge at Fit and we know they will love the bright new space alongside our iconic attractions, restaurants and shops.”
Fit Athletic Club will handle operations and management of the Plunge at Fit. Fit Athletic Club plans to open a new Fitness club adjacent to the Plunge at Fit in August 2019. For more information on the Plunge at Fit, please visit plungesandiego.com or call 858-779-1630.