Crowds line up to purchase tickets outside the Carlsbad park.
Are we having fun yet?
The scheduled opening is just in time for summer vacation 2013.
The “multi-million” dollar investment will most certainly add to the local economy.
The 10 percent hotel tax revenue alone will mean a windfall for the city of Carlsbad, not to mention the visitors who will end up spending money at surrounding businesses.
Attendance is running above projections at Legoland California and the same holds true for Disneyland.
A recent economic report about the so-called Happiest Place on Earth generated huge smiles from local business leaders, one of whom called the resort the heartbeat of Orange County.
Disney’s California Adventure is also undergoing an expansion totaling over a billion dollars.
In a state where the employment rate is 11.8%, and the national unemployment rate is 9.2%-- where are we finding the expendable income?
Maybe it's the "staycation" approach -- we're foregoing the airfare, rental car and other costs associated with faraway places, they’re staying closer to home or choosing more modest forms of amusement.
Call it Legoland over Las Vegas.
Even if you include admission ($89 a pop for those 13 and under) parking and food and souvenirs, it's still a lot cheaper in the end than taking a family of four on a plane ride across country to, say. Washington D.C. for a week .
Legoland California is banking on that relative frugality as it forges ahead with its brightly colored hotel-- the first of its kind in North America -- complete with Lego décor in the rooms as well as in the pool area and restaurant.
The folks at Legoland aren't new to the world of hotels. The Legoland Billund hotel in Denmark, built in 1991, has 199 rooms geared toward business guests and families with its two auditoriums and 31 conferences rooms.
Average room prices per night range from $428.00 for a standard room for two adults and two kids to $1016 for more elaborate accommodations including a treasure-themed room that can suit a family of six with a two- day pass to the park.
Construction of the Legoland California Hotel is slated to begin in October. Once the hotel opens, we'll see what, if any impact it has on some of the nearby mom-and-pop motels nearby.
One such outfit, the Surf Motel in Carlsbad, has 28 rooms and depends a lot on family vacationers, advertising on its website the nearby attractions including Legoland , Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.
“It will affect us less in the winter time, than it will in the summer,” said Bob Bhanushali, manager of the Surf Motel for the last 12 years.
The motel may not see any impact at all, as its prices are far lower than what Legoland is likely to charge -- which will surely continue to appeal to travelers on a budget.
According to the motel website rooms average anywhere from $38-$45 for a young family of four. Now that's a bargain.