SANTA ANA — The owners of a 242-room Anaheim hotel filed a lawsuit Monday against the Walt Disney Co., alleging that they have lost bookings and have been unable to sell the hotel because of confusion over Disney's publicized plans for the $3-billion resort it wants to build in the area.
Grand Hotel Associates, a limited partnership that owns the Grand Hotel on Harbor Boulevard, asserts in its Orange County Superior Court lawsuit that Disney scared off business in announcing plans to demolish the hotel to make way for a giant parking structure.
The proposed demolition was only an early option and eventually was discarded, but tour operators, travel agents and tourists have "canceled bookings or failed to make bookings which they would otherwise have made in the ordinary course of business," according to the suit.
It also states that Disney knew that the owners were trying to sell the hotel, and Disney's actions caused negotiations to be broken off.
A spokeswoman for the Disney Development Co., Disney's planning and construction unit, said she could not comment on litigation.
Disney is exploring whether to build an amusement park and several new hotels next to Disneyland. But since the new theme park would fill the present-day main parking lot, the company has proposed building two new parking structures--believed to be the largest in the country--to handle more than 30,000 cars a day.
But where to place the lot on the park's east side was a problem. Several options required acquiring property or razing buildings not owned by Disney. It eventually settled on a parcel that does not require destroying the Grand Hotel.