Council Unanimous In Lego Hotel Approval

by The Editors on October 30, 2009

Legoland-Calif-Resjpg-1Earlier this week the Carlsbadistan City Council approved Legoland’s plans for a 254-room, 137,000-square-foot hotel that will be built in the theme park’s parking lot, according to a Michael Burge story in the San Deigo Union-Tribune.

The propsed hotel will feature a restaurant, bar, and nightclub, the later of which seemed to ruffle at least one of councilman Keith Blackburn feathers. But Legoland officials were quick to clear that up.

“The reference to ‘nightclub’ in our list of planned amenities would be better phrased as ‘Evening Legoland Club,’ as it again will be aimed directly at families with young children . . . between 2 and 12 years old,” said Peter Ronchetti, the general manager of Legoland California. “So we have no ambitions to enter the nightclub business.”

Or course not. Legoland’s only ambition is to keep every single tourist dollar they can and let as little leak out into the community as possible.

[Link: San Deigo Union-Tribune]

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

JP November 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Come on now…doesn’t Legoland create jobs for our community? Can’t blame them for looking to expand into the Toyota dealership overflow lot that is there now. I appreciate them creating more jobs and safe, kid-friendly entertainment in our community.

Jon Wantz November 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

The tax revenue and jobs created are a welcome addition to the area. The management group that runs the establishment seems to be in complete control of their initiatives, which is a breathe of fresh air from an “amusement” park. I truly believe that we get more tourism revenue from having LegoLand here than if it were not. It brings families that may not necessarily have come before. I do hope that the council keeps a close eyes on how the all proceeds.

Jon Wantz

The Editors November 2, 2009 at 11:31 am

Please don’t mistake our inference that the Legoland Hotel is a bad idea for Legoland itself being a bad idea. Legoland bringing tourists to Carlsbad is fine, especially when those visitors spend money in local restaurants, hotels, and businesses.

The problem with the Legoland Hotel/restaurant/retail store/night club (and Merlin Entertainment’s continued expansion of the park) is that it encourages visitors to stay on the Legoland property for the entire duration of their stay.

Obviously, this is great for Legoland and we don’t fault the company for trying to do everything it can to increase revenue for its New York City-based private equity owners. But for local hotels, restaurants, and businesses this proposed hotel expansion at the park could mean less business. Once the hotel complex is completed visitors who may have stayed in hotels in the Village and walked to dinner at Village restaurants will likely stay in their hotel, eat at their hotel, and shop in their hotel. And have no time at all to visit anything else in the surrounding community.

In our opinion that is not exactly great for Carlsbad.

Jon Wantz November 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Your opinion is not off base by any means. Frankly, it is very valid. Part of my campaign next year will center around ways to bring small business in to Carlsbad and also help/promote the existing businesses. Lego Land is definitely a different monster, but I would be open to hearing how to curb the draw down from village businesses while still allowing Lego Land an opportunity to prosper. I would imagine during the economic downturn that they have been affected as well.

One of the best things about our great city is that we are recovering economically and there are very caring and greatful citizens willing to do what is needed to help out. In my opinion the Carlsbad City Council needs to develop a community plan that establishes what will and won’t be supported over the next, say, 5 years. Call it a community action plan if you will. It starts with projects that I 100% don’t support (i.e. disalinization plant, new power plant) down to issues that need to be handled (i.e. city clean up and a homeless outreach program). Give our residents a vision!

Jon Wantz

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