For more than three decades, the Celebrity Sports Center ruled Denver. It was a landmark in the city that attracted many celebrities to Denver. In addition to hosting professional bowling tournaments, the center also hosted swimming lessons and was home to self-proclaimed pinball wizards. However, the venture ended in a bittersweet manner: The Celebrity Sports Center was not a national chain and its stars were eventually sold to Disney. It closed its doors in 1994. However, the name and spirit remain online.
The famous water park was sold to real estate investors and bankers in the early 1990s. The bankers believed that a new management style could make the facility more lucrative. They removed all references to Disney and renamed it Celebrity Fun Center. Three massive water slides were added by the new owners, as well as a restaurant called Village Inn. The Celebrity Sports Center was closed in March 1995 and razed. It is now home to Home Depot and other retail businesses.
The Celebrity Sports Center opened its doors in 1961. The venture was supported by many celebrities including Jack Benny and George Burns, Gracie Allen, Burl Ives, and Burl. A retractable glass wall and removable skylight were originally planned, but were later removed. Some of these stars also became investors in the center, including Walt Disney. The Celebrity Sports Center has been a staple in the Denver sports scene for over 50 years.
In 1960, the original Celebrity Sports Center opened in Denver. It featured an 80-lane bowling lair. Later, it added a Hofbrau bar, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a series of water slides. The facility even hosted the 1991 Celebrity Open on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. Its parking lot sign was reminiscent of Disneyland. Its name was not just a coincidence. In fact, the Celebrity Sports Center had an important role in the Disney World plan.
The Celebrity Sports Center was established to provide family entertainment year round for a wide variety of ages. It attracted investors from Hollywood and was hoped to become a nationwide entertainment hub. However, the facility opened on a seven-acre lot in Glendale, California, in 1960. The construction project was completed in less than six months. It is now a popular destination for people of all walks of life.
The pool at the Celebrity Sports Center opened in 1961. The swimming pool, originally called the Olympic Swim, was the largest in Colorado at that time, measuring 164 feet by 75 feet. It was so big that its employees nicknamed it the “swamp,” despite the fact that it only held 500,000 gallons of water. It had nine lanes and five diving boards. It also had a bar, restaurant, and a swimming pool.