Disney today announced it is cancelling the 700-room 4-Diamond luxury hotel it was planning to build at the west end of Downtown Disney. The project constituted a $700 million investment that would have created 5,050 temporary jobs and 3,434 permanent jobs.
Disneyland Resort spokesperson Lisa Haines said via a statement:
“We’ve taken the time to review the economics of our proposed four-diamond hotel for Anaheim and have made the final decision to cancel the project.”
“While this is disappointing for many, the conditions and agreements that stimulated this investment in Anaheim no longer exist and we must therefore adjust our long-term investment strategy.”
This is a huge loss of investment and jobs, and will seriously impact the city’s future budgets. The now-cancelled hotel would have generated $750 million in total TOT revenue over 40 years. That revenue is gone and isn’t coming back. The city’s finance director, Debbie Moreno, told the city council earlier this year that cancellation of this hotel would necessitate budget “adjustments” – aka cuts – beginning in 2021.
The Tait-Moreno majority and their followers have refused to credit the believe the now-repealed TOT rebate policy with incentivizing Disney to embark on the 4th hotel project. When the Tait-Moreno majority seized on the siting issue as an opportunity to cancel the TOT rebate agreement, their camp scoffed at warnings their action would lead to Disney cancelling the project.
“Disney will build the hotel anyway,” was their mantra.
Never mind that Disney has had the entitlements to build this hotel for 20 years but didn’t move on it until the TOT rebate agreement made it feasible. Now that agreement is gone, and the hotel project is cancelled.
As recently as Monday night, the Tait-recruited candidate in District 6, Patty Gaby, dismissed the idea the TOT rebate played any role in Disney’s decision to build a 4-Diamond hotel in the Resort:
“I don’t believe the hotels would not be built. I believe Disney would build their own hotel.”
As today’s announcement proves, that confident and ignorant boast, by politicians and gadflies who don’t understand what they’re talking about, is just wrong. Guess it’s time to revise the Tait-Moreno majority narrative.
It’s worth noting that a few weeks earlier, Gaby incorrectly claimed that thanks to the termination of Disney’s TOT rebate, “We now have $267 million more dollars in our general fund.” At the same time, she praised Tait for causing Disney to “wave the white flag.” Apparently, it never crossed the minds of any member of that faction that their long guerrilla war against the city’s largest employer and taxpayer might entail serious negative economic consequences.
Thanks to the efforts of the Tait-Moreno majority and their acolytes, Anaheim is losing out on thousands of good-paying jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue. Good luck on coming up with a plan to replace those.