Friday, May 13, 2016

Nickelodeon And Kam Sang Co. Partner To Build New Orange County Nickelodeon Hotel In Garden Grove, California

Garden Grove in Orange County, California may soon become home to the next brand-new Nickelodeon Hotel in the USA, continuing the city's efforts to link its stretch of Harbor Boulevard with the Anaheim Resort District, reports The Orange County Register!

Earlier this week, the City Council unanimously agreed to enter into negotiations with developer Kam Sang Co. to build the Nickelodeon Resort Hotel - a 600-room, four-diamond resort on 10 acres with an expanded pool area.

Lagoon Pool at Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Details are still in the works, but both Kam Sang and city officials said it will be in the ballpark of the recently opened Great Wolf Lodge, in terms of construction costs, north of $100 million, and potential tax revenue, from $6 million to $8 million annually to the city.

Construction of the hotel could begin within 24 months, according to Kam Sang officials.

"We are actively looking at numerous opportunities to develop Nickelodeon Resorts and Hotels in the U.S. and abroad, such as the new property we have opening in Punta Cana in Dominican Republic this summer through a partnership with Karisma Hotels & Resorts," Nickelodeon officials said in a statement.

Nickelodeon currently has a hotel in Orlando, Florida called the Nickelodeon Suites Resort which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. However, the Nick-branded hotel will be closing on Tuesday 31st May 2016 to become the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites & Waterpark following Nickelodeon and Urban Commons mutually agreeing to not extend the partnership.

Nickelodeon Jacuzzi Pad at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

The Garden Grove hotel would incorporate the Nickelodeon-brand to lure tourists while also being luxurious enough to bring in Anaheim Convention Center business people.

"We want to balance corporate travelers with Disney tourist travelers," said Phil Wolfgramm, the Senior Vice President (SVP) for Kam Sang Co. "It won't slap you in the face."

Kam Sang has tried to develop the property on Harbor Boulevard, next to the Sheraton Hotel, for about a decade, Wolfgramm said. It has gone through several iterations, including a water park scrapped once Great Wolf opened down the street.

The deal struck with Garden Grove on Tuesday requires Kam Sang, which is also developing the city's long-awaited Brookhurst Triangle mixed-use project, to pay the city for any environmental studies and for acquiring the Tamerlane Apartments that occupy the future hotel property.

Even though the apartments are privately owned, the city has for years had a deal allowing it to buy the land whenever it wants, said Greg Blodgett, Garden Grove's Senior Project Manager working on the Nickelodeon hotel.

The city can transfer that right to Kam Sang, Blodgett said.

Blodgett estimated that getting the land ready for construction - including buying the property, relocating tenants, demolishing buildings and performing environmental studies - could cost the developer upward of $25 million.

"It's a unique project and something we've been working on for a while," Blodgett said. "It has worldwide recognition that will help Garden Grove."

The hotel's conceptual plans are still in development and must be approved by Viacom before going public, Wolfgramm said.

The hotel would offer 15,000 to 30,000 square feet of meeting, retail and dining space, and 5,000 to 15,000 square feet of entertainment, according to city documents.

Nickelodeon Jacuzzi Pad at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

There would be an outdoor theater, and some recognition of the Nickelodeon brand - Disney hotels, for example, have mouse ears as door knobs.

Most of the rooms, though, would not be themed, unlike the Great Wolf, which themes all but its most basic rooms.

The family suites would likely have separate, themed children's areas, Wolfgramm said. A children's area could be designed after the iconic Nickelodeon original animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.

The pool area would include a lazy river.

If successful, the hotel would continue Garden Grove's attempt to charm visitors visiting nearby Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

The Great Wolf, a 600-suite resort and water park, opened earlier this year. The city is expected to soon announce another major hotel, with a convention center, across the street from where the Nickelodeon Resort Hotel would go.

"It's exciting," said Wolfgramm. "The city has done a good job positioning itself for their needs in the future."
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