Disney has canceled its plans to build a new luxury hotel at the Disneyland Resort. The news comes after the elimination of a tax break by the city of Anaheim which would have saved Disney $267 million over the course of 20 years. This hotel’s cancellation highlights the tensions that have been simmering between Disney and the city of Anaheim recently.
“We’ve taken the time to review the economics of our proposed four-diamond hotel for Anaheim and have made the final decision to cancel the project,” spokeswoman Lisa Haines said in a statement. “While this is disappointing for many, the conditions and agreements that stimulated this investment in Anaheim no longer exist and we must therefore adjust our long-term investment strategy.”
The news comes after a summer of change at the Disneyland Resort. Restaurants at the West end of the Downtown Disney District closed earlier this summer to make way for the new hotel. However, when Anaheim officials soured on a tax incentive deal to help build the hotel (that was now going to be built at the West end of Downtown Disney) the project stalled. Soon, the Disneyland Resort asked Anaheim to rescind the tax incentives for this project. This left the hotel and the West end of Downtown Disney in limbo.
Now that this new hotel is no longer being built, the Disneyland Resort is looking to repopulate that end of Downtown Disney with businesses. Earl of Sandwich recently opened. However, there are still several locations that are vacant including the former home to the ESPN Zone, Rainforest Cafe, Starbucks, and the AMC Theaters to name a few. Currently, there are no details on what will happen there.
“We would have loved to have seen this hotel go forward, but we understand that the company needed to evaluate whether it was feasible for them,” Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said. “We look forward to whatever they may end up doing with the space.”
With the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next year, hotel space will be a premium. Continue to check back to DAPS MAGIC to see how this story and the relationship between Disney and Anaheim develops. In November there is an election in Anaheim that will elect a new mayor and several council seats. The results of this election could end up pushing the relationship between Anaheim and Disney one way or another.
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