The Walt Disney Company officially is throwing in the towel on its planned fourth on-site hotel for the Disneyland Resort, abandoning its previously announced plans to develop a luxury hotel on the what has been the western edge of Downtown Disney.
"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," a Disney spokesperson said in a email to Theme Park Insider. "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."
Originally, Disney proposed the fourth hotel to take advantage of a City of Anaheim tax incentive for building four-star hotels within the city. But when Disney killed its Western Gateway project after local opposition to that plan for a new highway entryway to the resort, it moved the site for its fourth hotel slightly to the south, to make way for a second parking garage on the former site of the Pinocchio surface lot, south of the Mickey and Friends parking garage.
The City of Anaheim decided that change in address reflected a substantial change in hotel project, especially since it meant the closure of several Downtown Disney businesses, including the movies theaters and four restaurants. So the city pulled the tax incentive from the project, which led to Disney putting the hotel project "on hold."
Meanwhile, labor activists succeeded in getting an initiative on the local ballot that would have mandated a substantial minimum wage increase for any Anaheim employer who was receiving tax incentives from the city. After Anaheim pulled the tax incentive from the fourth hotel project, Disney announced that it would give up all tax incentives from the city. This week, Anaheim officials ruled that Disney would be exempt from the minimum wage initiative, should it pass.
And now, after re-running the numbers on the hotel without the tax break, Disney has decided to kill the project that started this whole saga.
So what will happen to all those now-shuttered businesses on the west side of Downtown Disney? Earl of Sandwich reopened earlier this month. But beyond that, Disney has not committed to anything. At this point, it is up to Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney's development teams to come up with some new dining, retail, or entertainment options to replace those that have left the shopping complex.
All we know is... for now at least... it won't be a hotel going in on that site.Tweet
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