From Orlando Business Journal:

Disney to open Chicago time-share sales center

Orlando Business Journal - 6:00 PM EST Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Disney Vacation Club, a resort subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., will open a first-of-its-kind preview center in a retail storefront within the Woodfield Mall in Chicago this summer, the company announced Thursday.

The center, labeled Disney's Doorway to Dreams, is tied to the entertainment giant's ongoing Year of a Million Dreams promotion.

In a statement, the company says the expansion is designed to meet an increasing demand for the company's time-share product. It also appears to be tied to earlier discussions about expanding Disney resort products into urban centers.

The 6,300 square foot preview center will include a full-scale, two-bedroom unit representative of its eighth resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, scheduled to open later this year. It will also include an interactive information area, a children's play area and sales offices.

The new accommodations in Florida are being developed in phases with the first planned to open this fall. Upon completion, scheduled for summer 2009, the resort will incorporate a total of 458 units.

Disney says it chose the Chicago location because of its proximity to a dense population base and an existing large membership base in and around the Chicago area. It hopes to use existing the word-of-mouth experience of members to attract prospective buyers.

The Disney Vacation Club units are now 15 years old and boast more than 300,000 members from 50 states and more than 100 countries. Through its exchange program, members have access to more than 500 sites worldwide.

Sales centers are currently located at Walt Disney World in Orlando and at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is a diversified worldwide entertainment company. Its Parks and Resorts division owns and operates Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort. The company was founded in 1923 and is based in Burbank, Calif.

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