The proposed $650 million Disney's America theme park in Haymarket is not comparable to the troubled Euro Disney and "should be a good deal," even if only half of revenue projections are realized, according to Van Kampen Merritt Companies.
Euro Disney, which is losing $1 million a day, "was designed as a complete tourist destination with a strong reliance on accommodation revenues which fell far short of expectations," financial researcher Van Kampen said in a report.
The $4 billion Euro Disney was hurt by inaccurate, overly optimistic projections and cost overruns that critics fear may be repeated in Virginia.
But the Disney's America park "is planned to be a one-day attraction, only one-third the size of Euro Disney, that draws from an existing market of tourists," Van Kampen said. The complex will have only 144 hotel rooms, compared with 5,200 rooms at Euro Disney, the company said.
The Walt Disney Co. says it knows its American market better, and after two years of research, it projects that Disney's America will generate 12,400 jobs and $1.86 billion in revenues over 30 years, Van Kampen said.
One leading opponent of the Virginia park, Edward J. Pope, a Paris resident and hotel chain owner, said Disney's America is similar to Euro Disney because it would be in a rural area close to a capital city that has a seasonal climate and suffers from severe traffic problems, Van Kampen said.