Built in 1925, the Giant Dipper in Mission Beach, California is one of two remaining wooden roller coasters on the West coast. The 2,600 foot long coaster was created by the noted design team of Prior and Church for John D. Spreckels, a major force in San Diego's development. The Mission Beach Amusement Center was popular through the 1930's and 40's and in later years it was renamed, Belmont Park. From all accounts, the coaster was an extremely popular attraction. By the early 70's Belmont Park fell into disrepair and the park finally closed in December 1976.
Some years earlier, the land on which the coaster stands became the property of the City of San Diego and was designated parkland while the actual structure was still privately owned. In the early 80's the coaster became an eye sore in the heart of Mission Beach. After surviving several fires, peeling paint and becoming home for local transients, the owner \was under a lot of pressure to have the coaster torn down. A group of concerned citizens called "Save The Coaster Committee," had the coaster designated as a National Landmark and asked that the ownership be transferred to them. By doing so, they saved the coaster and are responsible for ensuring that the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster exists today for future generations to enjoy.