Intended from the beginning as the Western counterpart to Coney Island, Saltair was one of the first amusement parks, and for a time was the most popular family destination west of New York. The first Saltair pavilion and a few other buildings were destroyed by fire on April 22, 1925. A new pavilion was built and the resort was expanded at the same location by new investors, but several factors prevented the second Saltair from achieving the success of its ancestor.
The advent of motion pictures and radio, the Great Depression, and the interruption of the “go to Saltair” routine kept people closer to home. With a huge new dance floor – the world’s largest at the time – Saltair became more known as a dance palace, the amusement park becoming secondary to the great traveling bands of the day, such as Glenn Miller.