September 01, 2015
In pursuit of luxury travelers, who typically stay in nearby coastal cities when they visit, local developer O'Connell Hotels & Hospitality has filed an application to build a four-diamond JW Marriott hotel at the GardenWalk mall in Anaheim, CA, near Disneyland, local newspaper The Orange County Register reported last week. If approved, the hotel would be the first JW Marriott in California's Orange County.

"With the JW Marriott, we are bringing a highly respected hotel brand that will do great things by creating jobs, boosting the hotel industry, and attracting bigger and better conventions to Anaheim," said O'Connell's head, Bill O'Connell Sr. "We look forward to moving ahead with this project, which will provide tremendous benefits to the city of Anaheim, its visitors, and residents."

If approved, the new hotel would total 12 stories with 466 guest rooms and an unspecified amount of meeting space. It would be located within walking distance of Disney's theme parks and the Anaheim Convention Center.

The $150 million hotel would be financed in larger part by a 70 percent return on bed taxes, collected over 20 years. That financing plan was approved by the city in 2013, but is currently being challenged in court. O'Connell is proceeding with his plans so he can begin construction as soon as the litigation is resolved.

"We've heard time and again from current and potential visitors that Anaheim needed a luxury hotel outside of Disneyland," Jay Burress, president and CEO of Visit Anaheim, told The Orange County Register, noting Anaheim's trend toward family-friendly versus luxury hotels. "This news elevates the city of Anaheim to an entirely new level for all visitors."