LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co. on Monday said it planned to increase the number of hotel rooms at Hong Kong Disneyland by 75 percent after gains in attendance and profit at the 8-year-old resort.
The new 750-room hotel, featuring the theme of exotic locations around the world, will open by early 2017 and cost about $550 million, Disney said. The Hong Kong city government, which owns 52 percent of the resort, will shoulder part of the cost.
Attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland totaled 7.4 million people last year, an increase of 10 percent from the year before. The theme park, the smallest in Disney’s worldwide fleet, has now delivered double-digit increases in attendance since 2009. In an important signal of traction, more guests are coming from mainland China.
Profit is still very slight. Hong Kong Disneyland generated about $31.2 million in net income last year, an increase from $14 million the year before, Disney said. But making any money at all is a major achievement for the park, which struggled with losses for its first six years, in part because attendance was lower than expected.
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The improved results follow the addition of expensive new rides and themed areas over the past two years. And more are coming: In October, Disney announced that it would open a major Iron Man thrill ride by 2016 in the park’s Tomorrowland area. The attraction will be the company’s first Marvel-based ride anywhere in the world; analysts estimated the cost at roughly $100 million.