Four-diamond JW Marriott hotel proposed near Disneyland


Alexis Zellman, 5, greets a giant shrimp, right, as her father, Jason Zellman, looks on at Anaheim GardenWalk, where they had dined at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. A four-diamond JW Marriott hotel is expected to be built at GardenWalk to take advantage of a city incentive program.

(Christina House / For the Los Angeles Times)

Disneyland fans who want to get pampered during their visit to the resort will soon get the opportunity to stay at a JW Marriott hotel that is aiming for a four-diamond rating.

Developers have announced plans to build a 466-room JW Marriott at the Anaheim GardenWalk, a retail and entertainment center near Disneyland that has so far failed to generate the foot traffic that the city had hoped for.

The hotel, developed by Prospera Hotels Inc. and O’Connell Hotels & Hospitality, will take advantage of a city incentive program that allows any four-star hotel built in the Gardenwalk center to be reimbursed for 70% of the bed taxes collected by the city for a 20-year period.

A four-star or four-diamond hotel quality rating comes from outside arbiters such as Forbes Travel Guide or AAA.


The incentive program, adopted by the city in 2013, allows up to two four-diamond hotels in the GardenWalk center to keep a portion of the bed taxes. The program could allow the hotel operators to keep $158 million for both hotels over the course of the 20-year period, according to city officials.

So far, no other hotel project has been announced for the Gardenwalk, located about a block east of the theme park.

Only two other hotels in Anaheim have a four-diamond ranking, the Disneyland Hotel and the California Grand Hotel and Spa.

“JW Marriott at Anaheim GardenWalk will expand Anaheim’s hotel market by attracting guests who now come here for business or pleasure but chose to stay in other cities with more luxury hotel choices,” the city of Anaheim said in a statement.


An opening date for the project was not announced because the project could be delayed by a legal challenge to the city’s incentive program. In May, a Superior Court judge ruled that the incentive program was legal, but opponents, including residents of Anaheim, have filed an appeal to that decision.

To help draw more business to the GardenWalk, the House of Blues located at Downtown Disney is expected to relocate to the retail and restaurant center, according to city officials. An exact date for the move has yet to be announced.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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