Disneyland Resort announced plans Tuesday to add 250 units to its luxury Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, including its first 50 time-share offerings on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The lucrative Disney Vacation Club time-share business already has 350,000 members, but 86% of them live on the East Coast. The addition of 50 two-bedroom units in Anaheim marks a push to expand the business in California.
Sales, profit and membership have doubled since 2003, said Jim Lewis, president of Disney Vacation Club. "We want to expand business aggressively," he said. "We believe we should be going west."
With only 50 villas scheduled for completion by 2009, there is clearly more room for growth. In Florida, the company offers more than 2,000 units at seven resorts -- six at Walt Disney World and one in Vero Beach. An eighth vacation club is in Hilton Head, S.C.
Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle joked with Lewis: "I don't believe California and Anaheim should ever be below what you do in Florida. So that's the marker, man; you need to start working toward it."
The 2.5-acre expansion is expected to create 300 union construction jobs and 100 hotel positions. Disney executives declined to release occupancy levels at the Grand Californian, but Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier said he welcomed the additional rooms because guests were turned away "quite frequently" because the hotel was sold out.
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