Anaheim Jumpstarts Boom in Upscale Convention Hotels with Tax Rebate Plan

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Anaheim, CA – The City of Anaheim approved a key hotel tax rebate plan this Summer that clears the way for construction of three new upscale hotels that trade show organizers will put to good use in the coming years.

The city council voted 3-1 in favor of the plan to allow developers to keep roughly 70% of the room-tax revenues from the hotels for 20 years. In return, Anaheim will get a trio of hotels that will meet requirements for AAA Four-Diamond ratings, and give show organizers a major boost in their room blocks near the Anaheim Convention Center.

“The proposed four-diamond hotel properties will fill a notable void in our hotel inventory,” said Jay Burress, President & CEO of Visit Anaheim.

Visit Anaheim has been a strong supporter of the city’s Hotel Program, which was launched last year with the goal of increasing and upgrading the lodgings for convention and trade show attendees, who prefer rooms that are close to the convention center and are more upscale than the family motels that have served Disneyland visitors for decades.

The three new hotels will include one to be built near Disneyland by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Wincome Group plans to build two more hotels on the sites of current inns around the convention center.

The organizers of Anaheim’s key trade shows cheered the council’s vote, saying in a Visit Anaheim statement that the additional rooms will make life easier for them and their customers. “The addition of new luxury hotels strengthens the ability of Anaheim to retain and attract new business,” said Adam Andersen, Managing Director at New Hope Network, organizers of Natural Products Expo West/Engredea.

Cindy Sample, Director of Trade Show Operations for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), said the Hotel Program “made perfect sense” because Anaheim’s inventory was currently top-heavy in terms of accommodations for families over those for business travelers. “Anaheim is off balance with the majority of hotels being limited-service properties,” she said. “There is a serious need for the right mix of higher-end hotels, similar to what most desirable convention cities provide.”

A construction timeline and specifications on the number of rooms and meeting space will be developed in the near future. Meantime, Anaheim will see groundbreaking for a Four-Diamond JW Marriott near Disneyland sometime in late 2016 or 2017.

Reach Jay Burress at (714) 765-8898 or jburress@visitanaheim.org; Cindy Sample at (760) 438-8007 or cindy@namm.org; Adam Andersen at (303) 939-8440 or aandersen@newhope.com