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New hotels would bring jobs, revenue to Anaheim

City Council discusses a tax-sharing agreement with the developer

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: January 25, 2012 10:15 AM

The Anaheim City Council last night discussed a proposal for the development and construction of two new high-end hotels in the city’s Resort District. The GardenWalk Hotel Project, when complete, would have an estimated $4.4 billion economic impact over the next 20 years. The two hotels would also create 3,200 jobs during the construction phase and 1,300 jobs when complete and open for business.

“With 17,400 Anaheim residents currently unemployed, this project will create 3,200 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs,” said Todd Ament, president and CEO of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. “This project will be a shot in the arm to the local economy, providing much needed jobs for building contractors, suppliers, electricians, plumbers, roofers and other specialty trade industries and will create a positive economic impact for Anaheim.”

Anaheim’s resorts and hotels are a significant source of tax revenues for the city, and these two new hotels would add to that revenue. The project’s developer, Prospera Hotels Inc., however, has requested to defer its full tax contribution to the city through a revised 15-year Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) sharing agreement. (Visitors staying in a hotel, inn, lodge, campsite, etc., for up to 31 days pay TOT taxes in California.) The terms of the agreement would allow the two new hotels to use a portion of this tax to pay down the resort area bond debt. Prospera Hotels representatives say that this agreement and the economic assistance it affords is necessary to move the project forward.

Russell Lahodny, vice president of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, said the sentiments of the community favoring of the development project were obvious at last night’s meeting.

“The council chambers were filled with people supporting it,” Lahodny said. “The business community spoke and they listened.”

The City Council voted 3-2 in favor of further discussion on the project, and developing a revised tax-sharing agreement with Prospera Hotels.

"There are a lot of folks that talk about job creation, but rarely do they step up to the plate,” said Jim Adams, council representative for the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Construction Trades Council. “Supporting this project will have an immediate impact in putting men and women back to work right here in Anaheim.”

The project is still in the planning and discussion phase and as such, currently brings no revenue to the city. However, once underway, it is projected to create thousands of jobs and once finished, will ensure long-term revenues for the city and continued economic growth. In the first year, the two new hotels are projected to generate a total of $3,575,398 in revenues for Anaheim, with revenues increasing every year after the 15-year agreement.

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