construction worker installs sealant in one of the
giant water slides at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden
Grove, Calif., on June 26, 2015.
Calif. — Known for 60 years as the home to Disneyland,
Anaheim is pushing the idea that there’s more for
tourists to do — and spend money on — than ride on
Space Mountain and snap a selfie with Mickey Mouse.
the new offerings are a food mall that was converted from
an abandoned orange packing house and a brewery built
within an old Packard car dealership. Five hotels with
more than 1,000 rooms are set to open over the next 12
months, in addition to three hotels with 470 rooms that
opened last year.
Anaheim Convention Center recently broke ground on a
200,000-square-foot expansion. A 600-room hotel with a
105,000-square-foot water park is also set to open in
adjacent Garden Grove next year.
great to see it all happening at once," said Jay
Burress, president of the recently renamed Visit Anaheim.
The tourism organization changed its name from the
Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau to
put the focus on Anaheim.
taxes from hotels and Disney theme parks generating about
half of the city’s $286 million general fund, Anaheim
officials are banking on the prospects that tourism will
continue to flourish. The city welcomed 21.7 million
visitors last year, up 16 percent from the previous year.
The average hotel occupancy rate in the city rose to 79
percent last year from 70 percent in 2010.
of Anaheim’s new developments were spurred by a
strengthening national economy and the decision by Walt
Disney Co. to invest $1 billion to add Cars Land to Disney
California Adventure in 2012, according to Anaheim
the city also has played a role in pushing for some of the
bought 7 acres along Anaheim Boulevard about six blocks
north of Disneyland and renovated decaying auto repair
shops, a used-car lot and a smog check business to pave
the way for the Anaheim Brewery and the Packing House food
city also expanded an incentive program that refunds room
taxes to developers who build new hotels that are ranked
with four stars or higher.
is the kind of thing that secures our residents’ and the
city’s financial future for the next 20 to 30
years," said Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray.
"We are saying, ‘Let’s keep this investment
to room taxes and other tourism-related revenue, the city’s
latest budget includes a $10 million surplus to help pay
for 10 additional police officers, three additional
firefighters, a new fire engine and park improvements.
Winston, director of the L. Robert Payne School of
Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State
University, predicted that Disneyland is only going to
grow and draw more visitors.
have made some very wise moves to invest their tax dollars
to build the tourism infrastructure and let Disneyland be
the engine that everyone hooks on to," he said.
that end, the Anaheim City Council voted in July to ban
entertainment taxes on Disneyland and Disney California
Adventure for 30 years, with Disney promising to invest at
least $1 billion on resort expansions by 2024.
all of the city’s bets have paid off.
city’s $185 million investment in an intermodal transit
hub — a whale-shaped building covered in the same
advanced plastic material used in the Beijing Olympic
aquatic center — has yet to attract a corporate sponsor
or advertisers to pay for its annual $3.8 million
Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center
generates only $1.6 million in tenant leases and other
revenue, according to city officials. The transit hub,
within walking distance of Angel Stadium and the Honda
Center, was envisioned as a gateway for commuters and
to be left out, city and tourism officials in neighboring
Garden Grove have big hopes for the Great Wolf Lodge, a
Wisconsin resort operator that is building its first
California all-suite hotel south of Disneyland with help
from $47 million in redevelopment funds from the city of
Wolf Lodge Southern California will feature a water park
that will be almost all indoors and available only to
overnight guests. Most water parks in the West are
sprawling outdoor attractions.
woodsy-themed resort is expected to draw families with
children ages 2 to 12 to spend several days in the hotel
while visiting Disneyland and other Southern California
attractions, said project spokeswoman Susan Storey.
think we are going to be that nice complement to
everything else around there," she said.
STORY CAN END HERE)
Anaheim Boulevard, the city upgraded an old Packard car
dealership so that Barbara Gerovac and her husband, Greg,
could invest $750,000 to open the Anaheim Brewery. Umami
Burger moved into the same building.
the brewery opened in 2011, business has increased about
20 percent each year, Gerovac said. About a quarter of the
brewery’s business comes from sales to Disneyland and
the Anaheim Convention Center, she said.
we are really seeing is the collective impact of all these
businesses," she said.
from a small park, the city renovated a Sunkist packing
warehouse that had sat empty for 30 years. The renamed
Packing House is now home to 24 small businesses,
including a juice bar, a sushi restaurant, a pizza place
and a soul food joint.
half of the visitors to the Packing House are locals, the
rest tourists, said Grace Chung, a spokeswoman for the
the tourists recently was Mark Montemayor, a pastor from
Florida. He said he was most impressed by the cold-brewed
coffee and raspberry truffles at Dark 180 Chocolate.
think if we had been there longer, we would have visited a
few more times," Montemayor said.