Disneyland expands hotel, adds timeshares

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ANAHEIM -- Disneyland will add 250 units -- including time-shares -- to its Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in response to increased demand from tourists, the resort said.

The 50 time-share offerings, the first to be built on the West Coast, will be a part of the Disney Vacation Club, which already has 350,000 members. Sales, profit and membership have doubled for the club since 2003, said Jim Lewis, president of Disney Vacation Club.

Still, 86% of members live on the East Coast and "we believe we should be going West," he said.

In Florida, the company offers more than 2,000 units at seven resorts -- six at Walt Disney World and one in Vero Beach. An eighth vacation club is in Hilton Head, S.C.

The 2.5-acre expansion in Anaheim is expected to create 300 union construction jobs and 100 hotel positions. The city has already approved the expansion and the units are set to be completed in 2009.

In research by San Rafael, Calif.-based Market Metrix, which surveys 35,000 North American travelers quarterly, Disney Vacation Club consistently scores as the top time-share choice, ranking first in eight of the last 10 quarters.
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