SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - Five years since it was last open to the public, the iconic "Plunge" swimming pool is finally set to welcome San Diegans at Belmont Park.
"Oh, we're so excited. It's highly anticipated," said Belmont Park spokesperson Michelle McKee.
The pool was one of the original attractions when the amusement park opened in 1925. However, it had run into hard times in recent years and has been closed for much of the last decade. One management company went bankrupt. The next came up with a renovation plan, only to discover dangerous, corroding conditions inside, leading to the pool's closure in 2014.
Work finally began in earnest in 2017, tearing out much of the Plunge infrastructure, while trying to maintain a link to its historic nature.
"It was a wonderful pool," McKee said. "We wanted to maintain the structure of some of those elements, so that remains here in the pool."
A signature element, a large mural by the renowned artist Wyland, had to be removed. In its place is a new, bright, open look. Windows surround the pool, giving swimmers a view of the ocean. A retractable roof will help control the climate inside the glass space.
The high-end gym company "Fit" is building a club on the upper floors. Fit will manage the pool. Members will have access to the pool. The public can purchase day passes. With a dynamic pricing plan, adult passes will begin at $15.
Some San Diegans who have been to the plunge in the past worry that the price point will drive out locals and turn the Plunge into a tourist haven.
"I feel like when it's not tourist seaon, like summer when there's not many tourists, it's just going to be there. I don't think a lot of people will be going to it," said Makenna Gingrich.
"Spending $15 is outrageous," said Scarlett Clancy.
The Plunge will have its grand reopening July 4. Passes are currently on sale. The Fit club will open in early August.