According to GrowthSpotter, Disney has decided on two contractors to lead the River Country Hotel project we told you about back in March. International design firm WATG has been chosen to lead the design of the new hotel, with Balfour Beatty winning the bid to serve as the construction manager for the project.
Both of the contractors have a history with The Walt Disney Company. At Walt Disney World, WATG’s most visible project is the Grand Floridian Resort. WATG has also designed hotels at Disney theme parks in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Balfour Beatty has worked on Pandora – The World of Avatar and is currently the contractor for upcoming Ratatouille attraction at Epcot and the 15-story tower expansion at Coronado Springs Resort.
Back to the River Country construction site, or Project 89 as it appears in permits, the work is expected to cost upwards of $350 million to develop. According to insiders, the hotel will have 1,340 bays, which is an industry term for a standard room size. Of course, there will likely be rooms that take up more than just a standard space, leading the total room count to be lower than the amount of “bays”.
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is expected to take the majority of the rooms at the new resort, up to 940 of the 1,340 bays. This space will produce roughly 300 rooms for the DVC timeshare program.
As far as permitting is concerned, Disney recently filed a permit to create an off-site stockpile area earlier this month. As of publish time, Disney hasn’t completed this off-site area. A timeline for the new hotel wasn’t given, but construction is said to start after the completion of the Immersive Star Wars Resort near Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is seeing land clearing ongoing right now.