Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ first and only stand-alone resort hotel, Ko' Olina, is under construction on the Hawaiian island of Oahu—but a second may not be far behind. The company just announced its purchased of a 15-acre site in the 300-acre National Harbor development on the Potomac River in Maryland.
A Disney property at National Harbor would be the seventh hotel for the mixed-use development. The $865 million, 2,000-room Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center opened here in April 2008, claiming the largest combined hotel and convention center on the Eastern Seaboard, with 470,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. National Harbor also has Westin, Hampton Inn & Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, aloft, and Wyndham Vacation Resorts properties.
Disney doesn’t have any official comment on the size or time frame for the project, but published reports say initial plans call for 500 rooms. Disney purchased the property from Peterson Cos. for $11 million.
In a press release, Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, called the site a “unique opportunity” and praised the location. “As we began identifying possible locations to grow our business, the Washington, D.C., area immediately jumped to the top of the list,” he said. “National Harbor offers an array of entertaining activities for regional visitors, but it is also a base camp, from which visitors from around the world can explore the stirring sights and inspirational stories of our nation’s capital.”