Under the terms of the development agreement approved by the Anaheim City Council on July 7, Disney had to begin construction of what was later revealed to be “Star Wars Land” by the end of 2017. Otherwise, it would forfeit the de facto 30-year entertainment tax ban that was part of the agreement.
Today, Disney announced it would begin construction of Star Wars Land in 2016 at both its Anaheim and Orlando parks, dispelling any doubts (which it is doubtful anyone harbored) about whether it would meet that deadline.
From the OC Business Journal:
Disney’s chief operating officer Tom Staggs made the announcement at an investors’ conference in Beverly Hills, though he did not say when the attraction would open. The new 14-acre attraction announced last month at the entertainment empire’s D23 Expo marks the largest expansion in the Anaheim theme park’s 60-year history.
Located on the site now occupied by Big Thunder Ranch, and adjacent areas backstage, it will include two major rides – one seeing visitors fly the Millennium Falcon spaceship and another involving them in a battle featuring characters from the movie “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” set for release on Dec. 18.
The company also said a second, identical, Star Wars land would open at its Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida. Work will also start on that project next year, Staggs said at Thursday’s Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference.
Just to recap the economic benefits of this billion dollar private investment in Anaheim identified in a study by independent research and consulting firm Beacon Economics LLC:
- Increased tax revenue stemming from initial $1 billion capital investment: $17,851,000 annually
- Increased tax revenue from second capital investment of $500 million dollars: another $8,926,000 annually.
- Economic output stemming from initial capital investment: $564,181,000 annually for Anaheim businesses
- Economic output spurred by second $500 million: $282,092,000 annually for Anaheim businesses.
- Job creation from initial $1 billion investment: 12,863 construction phase jobs and 3,056 jobs.
- Job creation from follow-on $500 million investment: an additional 6,432 construction jobs, and 1,527 permanent, post-construction jobs.
And all for agreeing to continue not doing what Anaheim has never done: tax Disneyland visitors.