Monday, April 4, 2011

Disney Springs, Colorado

Disney Rumor Takes on Life of Its Own in El Paso County, Colo..

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

May 3 -- A Denver publication that purports to write knowledgeably about Colorado business matters speculates in print about the Walt Disney Co.'s supposed interest in El Paso County.

"Allegedly," the business publication reports, without saying to whom it spoke, "Disney has ties to about 25,000 acres in El Paso County. Possible site candidates: the Banning-Lewis Ranch near Colorado Springs or the Bohart Ranch near Ellicott."

Even as Disney declines comment, the publication goes on to ask rhetorically, "What Disney attraction would likely be developed?"

How about Fantasyland?

It's fantasy to speculate about Disney coming to central or eastern El Paso County. Never mind no reputable source seems to know anything about these plans. The idea seems goofy.

For one thing, we don't have the roads to serve thousands or even millions of visitors who would descend on that part of the county. We also may not have enough water to serve the same numbers of visitors. Also, would Disney really locate near Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs-based Christian ministry that advocated a boycott of the company?

What's more, Colorado Springs and El Paso County hardly have the sort of warm weather climate -- such as in Southern California or central Florida -- that attracts tourists year-round.

Oh, sure, the tourism folks advertise we have 300-plus days a year of sunshine in Colorado. Try telling that to visitors as they're scraping ice off their rented-car windshields.

We occasionally get winter temperatures that top the 60s and 70s, but the state nevertheless is viewed by the rest of the nation as snow-covered throughout the winter.

"They see a Monday Night Football game in Mile High Stadium in October, and they see snow and they think the snow continues through April," said Terry Sullivan, director of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.

So, how do these rumors get started, anyway?

Sullivan offered one explanation: Part of DisneyWorld's resort community, near Orlando, Fla., includes a relatively new area called Coronado Springs, which includes 2,000 hotel rooms and 95,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Supposedly, Sullivan said, Disney chairman Michael Eisner once commented about the company's emphasis on "Coronado Springs."

Ken Green, a Walt Disney Co. spokesman in California, said the company never comments on rumor or speculation. He did note Disney usually is upfront about its theme park plans, whether that means building a park in Tokyo, exploring one in Hong Kong or adding to DisneyWorld and Disneyland -- all in the works.

Somehow, Colorado Springs and El Paso County don't seem to be in the same league -- no matter how hard you wish upon a star.

No comments:

Post a Comment