City Council Backs Disneyland Project

Hoping to ride Disneyland's coattails if the park builds a proposed $3-billion expansion, the City Council officially supported the Disneyland Resort.

"It'll provide us with more tourist dollars and more jobs for local residents," said Buena Park Mayor Arthur Brown. "It's positive for us."

Councilman Donald L. Bone said the proposed project, which would include new hotels and the Westcot Center, a second theme park, "can do nothing but help Buena Park and our quest for also attracting tourists."

Councilman Don R. Griffin said that the proposed expansion is needed to keep the tourism industry alive in Orange County.

"It will help us to ensure the economic stability and success of the entertainment industry in years to come," Griffin said.

Westcot 2000, a new organization consisting of business and community leaders and residents, sent letters to all Orange County cities and chambers of commerce asking for support for the project, said Chairman Mel Miller.

The draft environmental impact report on the project is available for public review until Jan. 19, when it will be forwarded to Anaheim's Planning Commission for approval.

Miller said the project would create 28,000 permanent jobs and generate new tax revenues for Anaheim and other cities. The expansion also is expected to double the number of Disneyland guests to 24 million each year.

Buena Park attractions also are supportive.

"We're just excited for them to proceed because everybody gets the benefits," said Ed Beaver, vice president of sales and marketing for Wild Bill's Western Extravaganza on Beach Boulevard. "When Disney spends money on promotions and advertising, it generates business in the area," he said.

Stuart Zanville, Knott's Berry Farm spokesman, said: "We think that anything that increases awareness of Orange County and brings people to Orange County is good for Knott's Berry Farm and for the tourism industry."

Fred Sica, executive director of Buena Park Chamber of Commerce, also said that local businesses should get the spillover of Anaheim's tourists.

"As long as it happens, it means that all the business community is going to prosper," Sica said.

Jerry La Pointe, managing director of Buena Park Convention and Visitors Office, said: "Tourism is where the future of California lies. We're beginning to lose our market share; we need this Disney expansion to reverse that trend."

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