Luxury Disneyland Resort Hotel put on “indefinite hold”

Development of fourth Disney-branded hotel in Anaheim stalls

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Plans for a new-build luxury hotel at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, have stalled after a dispute between Walt Disney Co. and Anaheim City Council over a US$267 million tax break approved two years ago.

The earmarked hotel, the fourth at the Disneyland Resort, would be the first high-end resort built at the site in 20 years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The feud relates to the location of the new hotel, which has changed position from an originally flagged site, with Anaheim officials saying the tax subsidy would only have applied to a site previously proposed at 1401 Disneyland Drive, a carpark on the northern side of Disney’s property.

The new, larger site for the 700-room hotel would be located at 1601 Disneyland Drive, within Downtown Disney, the shopping precinct adjacent to the landmark Disneyland Hotel and outside the entry points of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks. More specifically, in the area of the ESPN Zone, the Rainforest Cafe and other businesses.

Disney says the project may not be financially viable without the tax break.

The site of the new luxury hotel at Disneyland at Downtown Disney

“You have given us no other choice than to put construction of the hotel on indefinite hold as the resort reevaluates the economic viability of future hotel development in Anaheim,” according to a letter dated 15 August 2018 from David Ontko, chief counsel for Disneyland Resorts, to Anaheim City.

“The City’s unfortunate decision has put at risk more than 1,500 construction jobs and 1,000 new permanent jobs, as well as more than $25 million in incremental revenue to the City’s general fund in the hotel’s first five years of operation,” Onkto added.

Rendering of the lobby of the new luxury hotel at Disneyland Resort

The LA Times said Disneyland Resort representatives said the resort’s position is made clear in Ontko’s letter.

“Disneyland’s decision to halt development of their fourth hotel is a devastating blow to Anaheim and a direct result of the city’s increasingly hostile actions towards our local economy,” Todd Ament, president of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

The Anaheim City Council is set to discuss the dispute later this month.

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