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Belmont Park in jeopardy?


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So I cruised to the Belmont Park website today, considering going down there tonight for some fun. And see a big notice on the front.

 

Belmont Park

 

Save belmont park

The future of Belmont Park is in jeopardy

 

To Our Supporters,

 

Belmont Park is on a land lease from the City of San Diego. This masterlease envisioned and documented a major redevelopment to construct new improvements, an adaptive reuse of the Plunge swimming pool hall and pay increased City rent. To achieve this objective, I submitted a plan to the City in 2006. In 2008, the City requested a hold on any redevelopment and to negotiate an “as is” lease. For two and a half years, we diligently pursued renegotiation, but the City flatly rejected our efforts. They have now imposed a 700% rent increase, but with no development to pay for it. This is financially unfeasible, renders Belmont Park insolvent and is a breach of lease. On November 3, 2010, Belmont Park filed for Chapter 11 Reorganization to defend its interpretation of the lease and to oppose the City in Federal court.

 

When taking over the leasehold in 2002, the area was a blighted district with over 50% vacancy, rampant crime and drug problems. During the course of my tenure, my company invested over $11 million in capital improvements. Belmont Park now attracts over 4 million visitors a year, generating significant sales tax for the City’s account, and has created over 500 jobs.

 

The City’s attempt to raise the rent to offset their years of financial mismanagement (exemplified by the pension fiasco and the recent No Vote on Prop D) puts the community in jeopardy of losing a prized asset, with a distinct possibility of returning to a derelict, crime and graffiti-ridden area. Please don’t allow the mistakes of local government to destroy a San Diego historic landmark.

 

Help us fight the city's unjustified rent increase by writing the Mayor of San Diego, City Attorney, Director of Real Estate Assets and District 2 City Councilmember. Let them know of your personal relationship with Belmont Park and your support of our continued efforts to operate, maintain and improve this historic regional park.

 

I can't believe they would raise the rent over 700% and it is directly because of mismanagement of funds and not being able to tap San Diego residents for even more taxes.

Edited by larrygator
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If this is the same city council that fought Sea World on their expansion I just don't get it. Why is that city so hell bent on destroying anything fun!!??

 

In this economy they have no right/reason to raise the rent that high unless they have ulterior motives.

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My initial thoughts are that the city of San Diego is trying to force the park out and rezone the area.

 

Without knowing much of that area besides what I can see from satellite photos, it looks like there is a ton of condos/rental properties on both sides of the park. More rental properties equals more tax collection.

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City councils are running amuck all over this country doing asssssssinine things such as this. I can't even begin to tell you the numbers of city officials currently on their way to jail or awaiting their turn to enter jail for backdoor dealings, mismanagement of funds, etc. in OK. This is just another prime example of elected officials trying their best to screw things up. Maybe the recent election results across the country will wake these people up to knowing that they could go at anytime, sadly, usually by the time they get voted out or arrested, the damage has been done. Suppose I should've made time for the park when I was in Cali two weeks ago, hope that's not going to be the case tho as it looks like a great seaside park.

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This was posted to Belmont Park's Facebook page:

 

In light of the recent announcement that the landlord of Belmont Park has declared bankruptcy, we wanted to share with our FB friends that the San Diego Coaster Company, operators of the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and rides at the park, are not impacted during the time of uncertainty. We added a new ride this year and are excited to announce another for the holidays. Thank you for your continued support.
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It's been my observation that, real estate-wise, non-corporate amusement parks seem to be turning into the 21st century's drive-in movie theaters. In the 1950s, drive-ins gained popularity as sources of inexpensive entertainment as families--and their disposable income--grew following World War II. By the 1980s, as developers sought land for townhouses, tract housing complexes and shopping centers, these large, empty drive-in plots became increasingly desireable.

 

It usually took only a targeted tax, insurance or rent increase to drive theaters out of business, allowing developers to swoop in and purchase the land for pennies on the dollar. It was a lot easier to tear down a movie screen and snack bar than to clear whole new tracts of land. These "takeovers" were supported by a lot of counties and municipalities, as they brought jobs (construction and sometimes retail) to the area and had the potential to add a lot more to tax rolls than a business that brought in taxable revenue, in many cases, only a few months out of the year.

 

Today all but a few hundred drive-in theaters are gone... but there are still plenty of roller coasters to tear down.

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printersdevil78, I think this is now a question of what people are really living for and what they really want to see in their cities. More tract housing and strip malls is not my idea of raising the quality of a city, but that seems to be the most creative thing cities come up with now

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Does this include the Wavehouse area as well or is that seperate?

 

That was just an amazing venue and I can't believe they'd want to get rid of that area. To be completely honest when we visited as part of the TPR West Coast Trip the Wavehouse was amazing and seemed very vibrant and busy compared to the park which seemed very quiet with not many visitors.

 

I had thought that they were owned/managed by the same people but perhaps not?

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I'm not positive, but I believe they have some affiliation, since the Wavehouse is listed on the site, and there is a wave machine located in the amusement park area as well as the main beachfront area.

 

I'll be extremely sad if the park closes, because I live about a 1/2 hour away and go about once a month....and I was hoping one day they would get a drop tower, or some thing that would be seen from miles away to attract people to the park; people who may not have know there was an amusement park in the first place.

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^Did you miss this post?

 

This was posted to Belmont Park's Facebook page:

 

In light of the recent announcement that the landlord of Belmont Park has declared bankruptcy, we wanted to share with our FB friends that the San Diego Coaster Company, operators of the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and rides at the park, are not impacted during the time of uncertainty. We added a new ride this year and are excited to announce another for the holidays. Thank you for your continued support.
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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2010/nov/09/belmont-park-predicament-not-amusing/

 

Belmont Park Predicament Not Amusing

 

Tom Lochtefeld stood before San Diego city councilmembers Tuesday, November 9, and urged them to direct the city's Real Estate Assets Department to restart negotiations on Belmont Park's land lease and rethink the 700 percent rent increase that the department imposed. If not, said Lochtefeld, the Coney Island–inspired amusement park in Mission Beach may take its final plunge.

 

"We have a crisis," said Lochtefeld to city councilmembers during non-agenda public comment. "This Friday, the bank is going to foreclose, and I will no longer be the owner."

 

Click link above to read the rest of the article...

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