DISNEY TO PURSUE ANAHEIM EXPANSION PLAN;
DISNEYSEA PROJECT IN LONG BEACH DISCONTINUED
Many Hurdles Ahead for The Disneyland Resort
BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) will move forward with its efforts to develop The Disneyland Resort, a new theme park and destination resort adjacent to and including Disneyland, it was announced today. Efforts to develop DisneySea, a proposed theme park project on both sides of Queensway Bay in downtown Long Beach, will be discontinued.
"For more than a year, we have been evaluating theme park and resort proposals in Anaheim and Long Beach. While both sites offered unique development opportunities, each presented significant challenges which had to be thoughtfully and carefully understood," said Peter Rummell, president of Disney Development Co.
"Our goal has been to thoroughly and objectively assess each opportunity, and to decide by year end which project to attempt to move forward through the planning and environmental review process. We are now in a position to make that decision and focus our resources on a single project -- The Disneyland Resort," Rummell said.
In making the announcement, Disney officials emphasized that the Anaheim proposal still faces many challenges, not the least of which are a myriad of local and regional approvals and financial feasibility.
"During this process, our company has appreciated the opportunity to work with dedicated officials and citizens in each city, and we have been inspired by the outpouring of support we've received," Rummell said.
Although Disney believed the Long Beach site offered a unique opportunity to develop a new creative concept themed around the ocean, the company cited the lengthy and costly regulatory review process as well as design and economic constraints of a minimal landfill plan as the principal reasons for not pursuing the Long Beach project.
"Disney's desire to develop a new plan with minimal amounts of landfill caused design and economic constraints which proved extremely difficult to overcome," noted David Malmuth, Disney Development Co.'s vice president in charge of the Long Beach project. "Moreover, even if the redesign were successful, we faced another four to five years of effort and $70 million of investment before we'd know whether the project would be approved by the 27 local, state and federal agencies which would review it," he continued.
"We look forward to sitting down with the City and the Port to discuss possible alternatives for the site, should they have an interest in doing so," Malmuth remarked.
Rummell said Disney looks forward to moving ahead on The Disneyland Resort, but cautioned that "many hurdles lie ahead before Disney can make a final decision to build the project. Developing a project of this scale in an urban environment -- particularly a heavily regulated environment like Southern California -- is extremely complex and expensive. The cooperation and support of all levels of government will be necessary if the project is to become a reality."
The decision by The Walt Disney Co. caps more than three years of master planning and imagineering by several company divisions, including Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Attractions, Corporate Strategic Planning and Disney Development Co. The company dedicated significant financial and human resources to the exhaustive analysis of the two creative concepts.
As currently proposed, The Disneyland Resort is a $3 billion, 470-acre urban destination resort located adjacent to and including Disneyland. The master plan includes a second theme park as well as new hotel, retail, dining and entertainment facilities. An innovative transportation and parking management plan developed in close cooperation with city, county and state transportation planners is designed to solve existing congestion problems and lay a foundation for future economic expansion in the Anaheim Commercial Recreation Area, including both the Disney project and other growth already planned.
According to a fiscal impact study by independent analysts, at full buildout The Disneyland Resort would directly and indirectly create an estimated 27,900 permanent new jobs in Southern California; generate approximately $2.4 billion per year in new economic activity in the five-county Southern California region; produce an estimated $55 million per year in new taxes and fees to the City of Anaheim and Orange County; and result in more than $70 million per year in new taxes to the State of California.
The Disneyland Resort itself would employ an estimated 24,100 persons, including Disneyland's current staff of 11,600, solidifying Disney's position as the largest employer in Anaheim.
The Disneyland Resort and related infrastructure improvements will complement a number of planning efforts already under way by the City of Anaheim. Collectively, these projects will ensure that revitalization of the entire commercial recreation area. New land use regulations, design guidelines and streetscape and signage programs will transform the area around Disneyland into a lushly landscaped garden district, creating an attractive pedestrian environment supported by a smoothly functioning transportation system.
The project approval process will include a comprehensive environmental review and public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council. A draft environmental impact report is already under way.
/CONTACT: Francie Murphy of Casey & Sayre, 213-457-3676, for The Walt Disney Co./
(DIS) CO: The Walt Disney Co. ST: California IN: LEI SU:
CH-KJ -- LA015 -- 2021 12/12/91 14:37 EST