By Kathy Lee Scott/Garden Grove Journal
The rivalry between Garden Grove and Anaheim is getting less fractious.
The eight Garden Grove hotels along Harbor Boulevard agreed to work with their counterparts near Disneyland to create a tourism improvement district. The Garden Grove City Council heard from two of the hotels’ general managers at a study session on Tuesday.
Within the district, each hotel will pay a 2 percent assessment based on room rates. The Garden Grove hotels could generate $1.5 million a year; Anaheim hotels, $8.5 million. With the money, the hotels can fix up Harbor Boulevard to look more like the street in Anaheim and broaden their marketing to larger groups needing convention space.
The agreement came after Anaheim decided to use its $6.2 million funding of the Convention Visitor Bureau for the Anaheim Convention Center expansion. That left the bureau with no money for its marketing programs.
To make up the deficit, members of the bureau, which included the eight Garden Grove hotels, decided to assess themselves. The city council needs to create the district, impose the assessment and collect the fees for the hotels.
The partnership between the Anaheim and Garden Grove hotels will “help us sell our hotels,” said Dominic Acolino, general manager of Embassy Suites, Anaheim South.
The hotels can take over paying for landscaping and lighting along the street, he added.
“This partnership can drive business to our hotels,” said Kevin Kennedy, general manager of Hyatt Regency, Orange County.
The request to create the tourism improvement district should come before the Garden Grove council in January 2010.