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From Casa Bonita's cliff to 130-foot jumps, professional diver remembers his roots

Travis Sims got his start as a professional cliff diver when he landed a job diving into Casa Bonita’s iconic lagoon.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The dream job has never ended for Travis Sims, who spends his time traveling around the world in search of the highest cliffs and extreme ledges for epic dives. 

Sims was 18 when he auditioned for a diver gig at Casa Bonita shortly after he made his high school's dive team in 2011. 

He said the job has been a dream of his since he was a little boy in Lakewood going to birthday parties at the iconic restaurant. 

“When I was a kid, I'm looking up at these guys who were jumping 30 feet into a pool inside of a restaurant," Sims recalled during an interview with 9NEWS at the Casa Bonita parking lot. "I'm like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the coolest thing ever!’ And then getting to experience that for myself was just the most amazing experience."

Credit: Travis Sims

The restaurant is expected to open again in May after the new owners, Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame, have poured millions of dollars into renovations. So far an exact opening date hasn’t been announced. 

As for Sims, he makes his living by organizing The Cliff Cruise, a traveling music and cliff diving festival that also focuses on environmental causes. 

“We clean up a ton of trash, jump off a ton of cliffs, and we have a good time at night, have some music, and games and all that sort of thing too,” he said. 

>Compilation of previous cliff dives

Sims, who lives in an old ambulance outfitted with a stove and a bed, is active on Instagram where he features some of his extreme jumps around the world. 

He said the iconic Casa Bonita lagoon will always hold a special place in his heart. 

“I mean, it is such a part of who I am,” Sims said. “It just kind of made me a more playful person and made me more curious and more imaginative. And it really let me know that anything's possible.”

If you have any information on this story or would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com.

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