2 new WDW expansion projects announced!
Found this on AllEarsNet:
The Walt Disney World Resort Announces Two New Expansion Projects
LAKE BUENA VISTA Fla., March 1, 2007 – Walt Disney World Resort today announced two new projects as part of an expansion plan for the resort in Central Florida: a new 900-acre luxury resort anchored by the prestigious Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and a 450-acre retail, dining and lodging district on the western edge of the Disney resort.
"These projects are first-of-a-kind for Walt Disney World and we are thrilled to be able to bring Four Seasons to our resort," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "Families around the globe know they can trust Disney to deliver magical experiences and Four Seasons to offer exceptional service and amenities. Combined, this is a huge win for devotees of both brands and for Central Florida," said Crofton.
LUXURY DESTINATION RESORT – NORTHEAST RESORT AREA
Along the northeast border of Walt Disney World Resort, Disney plans to convert its Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses into a luxury resort and golf community. The development will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes.
Disney entered into a letter of intent with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to bring these two complementary and respected brands together to anchor a new world-class family resort destination.
Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently with 74 hotels in 31 countries, and more than 25 properties under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees – people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Four Seasons currently operates two properties in Florida, Four Seasons Hotel Miami and the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.
"The Resort will have all the ingredients needed to create memorable vacations: gracious and caring staff; beautiful surroundings that are thoughtfully designed; and services and amenities that make every experience one to cherish," said Kathleen Taylor, president and chief operating officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "It's an honor to collaborate with Walt Disney World Resort on this project. Walt Disney's reputation for service excellence and exceptional family entertainment amenities is an ideal complement to the values of Four Seasons. Central Florida will be a valuable addition to our family of resorts, particularly since this is a destination our guests already enjoy."
Once terms of the project are finalized, site work could begin later this year, with a hotel opening forecasted for 2010.
VALUE-ORIENTED DESTINATION – MIXED-USE TOURISM DISTRICT
On the western edge of the resort, Disney is planning a mixed-use tourist commercial district just outside Disney’s gateway entrance. The master-planned development is comparable in size to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The project combines third-party branded lodging, retail and dining in a pedestrian-friendly environment and will be another example of Disney’s commitment to unique placemaking. Located outside Disney’s gateway around the interchange where Western Way meets the Western Beltway, early development plans include 4,000 - 5,000 low- to mid-rise, value-priced lodging units and 300,000 - 500,000 square feet of commercial space. Designed around a retail village, the development will become a convenient shopping and service center for Cast Members, nearby residents and Central Florida visitors.
The project is currently in the design stage. Site work and branding is anticipated to begin later this year. The project will be built in phases over the next 8 - 10 years.
Additional information can be found here: http://www.allearsnet.com/news/hnews0307.htm
Press Releases starting to come through on this
From Commercial Property News:
Four Seasons to Be Anchor at New Disney Resort
Walt Disney World Resort today announced two new projects as part of an expansion plan for the resort in Central Florida. The first is a new 900-acre luxury resort anchored by the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts on the northeast border of the resort. Disney plans to convert its Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses into a luxury resort and golf community. The development will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes. The second project is on the western edge of the resort. Disney intends to build a mixed-use tourist commercial district just outside Disney's gateway entrance. The master-planned development is comparable in size to Disney's Animal Kingdom. Early development plans include between 4,000 and 5,000 low- to mid-rise, value-priced lodging units and between 300,000 and 500,000 square feet of commercial space.
Source URL: http://www.cpnonline.com/cpn/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003552284
Disney seeks upscale appeal with new Four Seasons resort
Disney seeks upscale appeal with new Four Seasons resort
Christopher Boyd | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted March 2, 2007
Walt Disney World plans to break ground on a luxurious Four Seasons resort this year, bringing one of the world's most prestigious hotel brands to a theme park long considered the ultimate middle-income vacation destination.
Disney offered few details about the hotel, which would rise near an 18-hole golf course in the northeast sector of the resort. The Four Seasons would be the centerpiece of an as yet unnamed 900-acre development that would also include an assortment of luxury vacation homes.
In what seemed a counterpoint to Thursday's announcement, Disney said it is planning a second development on the western side of its property that would appeal to less-affluent travelers. That one, which is also unnamed, would include thousands of "value-priced" hotel rooms, as well as assorted restaurants, shops and small entertainment businesses.
Disney World President Meg Crofton said the projects would be "first of a kind." But the Four Seasons was the attention grabber.
The hotel, which hasn't been designed, would face the Osprey Ridge Golf Course, which would be improved. A second golf course, Eagle Pines, and other land would be developed with single- and multifamily vacation homes.
Four Seasons is one of the world's elite hotel brands, catering to affluent travelers with opulent decor and impeccable service. Abe Pizam, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida, said it will bring Disney's lodging portfolio to a new level.
"The fact is that Disney doesn't have anything like this," Pizam said. "This is the sort of hotel that attracts the richest of the rich. It's the creme de la creme. If there were six-star hotels, these would be it."
The hotel will add to the region's growing portfolio of high-end resorts. JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, which form the Grande Lakes Orlando resort near John Young Parkway, fit the category. And recently announced plans for a Waldorf-Astoria hotel and an Intercontinental hotel near Disney World are also in the league.
Pizam said no one knows how deep the market for luxury rooms is, but their arrival in Central Florida speaks to hotel developers' perception of the market.
The west-side project would have a decidedly different feel. It would include 4,000 to 5,000 hotel rooms in low- and mid-rise buildings, and would include as much as 500,000 square feet of commercial space for restaurants, shopping and small-scale entertainment businesses.
The 450-acre project would rise just outside Disney World near the intersection of State Road 429 and Western Way, and would take eight to 10 years to build.
Disney, which typically doesn't announce development plans until they are fully formed, made an exception with the two projects. Even in its vague form, the Four Seasons plan speaks to Disney's effort to attract ever-more-affluent travelers.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts earlier had acquired land from Disney to build a hotel in Celebration, south of the theme parks. Both Disney and Four Seasons said that site would now be used for something else.
"I don't believe we will own the Celebration land anymore," Four Seasons spokeswoman Elizabeth Pizzinato said. "But this whole thing is very new. There hasn't even been a decision on the number of [room] keys the hotel will have."
Though the Four Seasons is best known for its hotels, last month it gained notice for its sale to two of the world's richest men. Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and the Four Seasons chief executive officer agreed to buy the Canadian company for $3.4 billion.
The chain operates 74 hotels in 31 countries, including Florida properties in Miami and Palm Beach. The company, which has 25 properties under development worldwide, expects to open the Disney World hotel in 2010.
Disney will oversee development of the project, and Four Seasons will manage the hotel once it opens.
Christopher Boyd can be reached at 407-420-5723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source URL: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/custom/tourism/orl-disney0207mar02,0,3227657.story?track=rss