Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will build a luxury hotel and 18-hole championship golf course along the northeast border of Walt Disney World, theme park officials said Thursday.
The Toronto-based luxury hotel chain is part of two expansion plans that will take eight to 10 years to fully develop and will include single- and multifamily vacation homes, fractional ownership homes and a 450-acre retail, dining and lodging district, said Meg Crofton, Disney World’s president.
“This is a first-of-its kind development for our company,” Crofton said. “Four Seasons is a world-renowned brand known for its luxury and appeal.”
The number of jobs the two developments will bring to the area is unknown, Crofton said. Disney currently has 60,000 employees.
Four Seasons, with 74 hotels in 31 countries and two locations currently in Florida, will anchor a 900-acre development which already houses two golf courses. The hotel planned to open in 2010 could break ground later this year, Crofton said.
One of the existing golf courses will be upgraded into a championship course and the other will be renamed after the Four Seasons brand.
The second development will be roughly the size of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and be located just outside the western entrance. About 4,500 time shares and hotel units will surround a pedestrian-friendly retail village that includes restaurants, shops and small-scale entertainment venues. Construction is slated for later this year.
“We chose this area because it’s a great opportunity to further enhance the western entrance of our resort,” Crofton said. “We’re currently putting the finishing touches on the design and then we will give this development a strong brand name.”