Friday, May 23, 2008

Souvenir Friday- Celebrity Sports Center

Since moving to Denver, I have pestered friends, co-workers and even strangers who grew up in the area about the Celebrity Sports Center. In addition, I have looked hard for souvenir items, brochures and anything else. Up to now, the search had been fruitless. However, I found a nice patch for the Celebrity Sports Raceway. The raceway was one of the largest slot car tracks in the United States. The track was located in the basement below the bowling alley and featured several different scales and tracks.

Of course you may be asking why would I want Celebrity Sports center items? The center was owned and operated by the Walt Disney company and served as a testing ground and training site for many of the managers for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. For many years pictures of the building and information about the operations were included in the Walt Disney Productions annual reports. The concept was also going to be the model for part of the development of Mineral King.

While doing research on the patch, I came across a recently published magazine with a historical article on the Celebrity Sports Center. The magazine is Heritage the Magazine of the Colorado Historical Society for Autumn 2007. I have a couple extra copies of the magazine, so I have a few trivia questions to give away copies of the magazine. The first two people who send me the correct answers will receive a copy of the magazine. (Send your answers to Matterhorn1959 at Yahoo.com. I will post the answers when the contest is over.)

The first question is name three of the original investors, not including Walt Disney.
The second question is how many bowling lanes were built?
The third question is what piece of Colorado is now at Disneyland?
The fourth question is when did Walt Disney Productions sell the center?
And the final question is what is standing at the location now?

Here is a quick scan of the first page of the magazine.

For those who want to purchase the magazine, here is the link: Colorado Historical Society

12 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, this is obscure!! I can't answer any of those questions!

I'll bet Jason knows all of your answers, he mentioned this sports center to me in an email, which is the first I'd ever heard of it. The patch is a great souvenir!

Progressland said...

I only knew one of the answers offhand! The others were easy enough to find with the right mix of sources--and I always enjoy geographic research. :) Thanks for bringing the article to our attention, Patrick!

jedblau said...

Wow...never heard of this place. Looking forward to the answers...

Walt Dizzy said...

Answer Time!

1. The investers were Walt, Art Linkletter, Jack Benny, and John Payne.

2.80 bowling lanes

3. A perified tree stump from colorado is in Disneyland

4.It was sold in 1979

5.Holliday Inn select Cherry creek

Yay! I win!

Matterhorn1959 said...

Congratulations to Progressland and to Walt Dizzy. Walt Dizzy please send me an e-mail at my e-mail address in the post so I can get your address and send you your copy of the magazine. I will let everyone know the answers (with background) tomorrow.

Alsoknownas said...

I know this is really late but I believe the spot now houses Home Depot and Whole foods. The Holiday Inn is further down Colorado Blvd.

Anonymous said...

Hey -- I live two blocks away from the site of the old Celebrity Sports Center. It was sold at the end of 1994 and torn down by March of 1995. The 7+ acre lot became a Builder's Square hardware store, which eventually gave way to a Home Depot.

Avalancheman said...

Some good historical info. on Wikipedia about this cool old place... like, the old bowling lanes at Celebrity's were preserved. Those lanes were reused during the restoration of the nineteenth-century Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver and now serve as the hotel's ballroom floor.

stez said...

Any good photos of the slot car tracks?

Alexise said...

JEDBLAU...it is NOT a Holiday Inn, nor has it ever been. Either you checked a bad source, or have never been to Denver. I personally had several birthday gatherings there and went all the time as a kid. I still live nearby there. Yay, you did NOT win. not really :) It is actually a large lot, containing a 1st Bank, a Home depot, a Whole Foods, and have also housed a few other shops, like a EMS, a paint store, A Villiage Inn, and currently a Staples. It was in it's day, a glorious place.

annamae7 said...

1) Bing Crosby, Charles Laugton, Burl Ives, Jack Benny, Art linkletter, john Payne and Spike Jones

2) 80 Lanes

3) Petrified tree stump in frontierland in Disneyland

4) 1979

5) Home Depot, Whole foods and retail space

Jeremy Berggren said...

Any interest in more souvenirs? I have a set of 4 rock glasses. On the front they say "1976 Celebrity Salute" On the back "Celebrity Sports Center Denver, Colorado" If interested shoot me an offer. will be happy to email pictures.