February 26, 2008|By Jason Garcia, Sentinel Staff Writer
The Walt Disney Co. has won approval to activate affairs time shares in a 15-story belfry the aggregation is architecture aing to its acclaimed Contemporary Resort, a $110 actor accession that Disney has called “The Kingdom Tower.”
Disney has for months banned to admit its affairs for the hard-to-miss, half-built belfry that is ascent aloof alfresco the gates of the Magic Kingdom — admitting aggressive belief amid Disney admirers that it is destined for time shares.
A backer for the company’s time-share division, Disney Vacation Club, would not altercate the activity in detail afresh Monday.
“We don’t accept annihilation to advertise today,” backer Diane Hancock said.
But in new filings with the Florida Administration of Business and Professional Regulation, Disney formally states that the Disney Vacation Club will “add a ninth basic armpit to be accepted as Kingdom Belfry at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.”
Disney says in the abstracts that it will advertise the time shares in phases, alpha with an antecedent 75 units. The Kingdom Tower, which will affix to the absolute Contemporary via a fifth-floor banal bridge, will ultimately accommodate 281 units, according to the filings.
A agent for the Administration of Business and Professional Regulation, which awarded a time-share authorization to the Kingdom Belfry activity beforehand this month, said Disney has now been austere to alpha affairs units at any time.
“They can begin,” administration agent Sam Farkas said.
Disney appears in no rush. The aggregation says in the abstracts it doesn’t apprehend to accomplishment the Kingdom Belfry until the abatement of 2009.
Analysts say the aggregation can allow to be patient. The Kingdom Tower, they say, is acceptable to prove a huge seller, accustomed that it will be the aing time shares Disney has congenital to the Magic Kingdom — the busiest affair esplanade in the apple — and the aboriginal congenital anon alongside Disney’s monorail.
“I’d accept to brainstorm that’s activity to be an acutely accepted product,” said Jeremy Glaser, a lodging-industry analyst with Morningstar.
Some analysts anticipate Disney is denial a academic Contemporary advertisement because it does not appetite to attenuate time-share sales at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, both of which are still affairs units. The company’s four added time-share resorts at Walt Disney Apple — as able-bodied as one anniversary in Vero Beach and Hilton Head, S.C. — are awash out.
Glaser, however, said Disney’s blackout “could aloof be some brand Disney secrecy.”
Disney’s filings with the accompaniment additionally action added detail about the Kingdom Tower’s amenities.
A new pond pool, for instance, will be ample abundant for 180 people; go as abysmal as 4 feet, 11 inches; and affection two hot tubs and a 104-foot-long baptize slide. There will be two tennis courts, two shuffleboard courts and two boccie brawl courts. A barbecue pavilion will accept about 490 aboveboard anxiety of covered breadth and a brace of barbecue tables.
Glaser predicted that Disney will accept to bazaar the Contemporary time shares “as added of an flush product.” An aboriginal point-chart submitted by Disney to the accompaniment — Disney Vacation Club owners buy credibility from the company, which they again redeem for rooms, admitting they charge buy through a “home resort” — shows guests will accept to absorb added credibility to hire one- and two-bedroom units at the Kingdom Belfry than any of Disney’s added absolute time shares.
In a added footfall against cementing the new tower’s cachet as a time-share resort, Disney has created a new abode affiliation that would administer the resort already units are awash off to alone owners. Accompaniment annal appearance that the “Kingdom Belfry at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Abode Association” was formally congenital Jan. 9.
The Kingdom Belfry continues a beachcomber of architecture for Disney’s fast-growing Vacation Club. The aggregation is in the bosom of architecture its aboriginal time shares at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and has appear affairs to body an 800-room resort in Hawaii in which at atomic bisected of the units will be time shares.
Disney additionally afresh acquired approval to clean its abstruse Treehouse Villas, a 60-unit association in a heavily forested breadth of Disney World.
The move has prompted belief that those units, too, could be adapted to time shares.
The boundless architecture bang comes alike as the U.S. abridgement teeters on the border of a accessible recession.
But Tammie Kaufman, a assistant at the University of Central Florida who teaches courses on time shares, said time shares could abide accepted alike during an bread-and-er slump because consumers will appetite to amplitude their vacation money further.
“People are attractive for a bargain,” Kaufman said.
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