Legoland announces hotel, park plans

New Legoland resort to open April 5

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Legoland California is in the process of hiring 250 employees to staff its hotel, which is slated to open in April, park General Manager Peter Ronchetti announced Thursday.

"It's hard to believe we were standing here a little more than a year ago -- in this exact spot which was formerly a parking lot -- announcing the start of construction for our new hotel," Ronchetti said at a news conference. "With new additions each year, Legoland California Resort is a multi-day destination and proves all the more the great need for this multimillion-dollar hotel now almost completely built behind me."

He said the theme park now employs more than 1,600 workers.

Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall said Legoland helps the economy of his city and the county as a whole.

"They just keep doing better and better every year, so we're very proud of them," Hall said.

The hotel boasts 250 rooms on three levels, with three themes to choose from -- pirate, kingdom or adventure, complete with a treasure hunt.  It is slated to open April 5.

Ronchetti also announced that a 12-minute 4-D film will premiere one month earlier at the park to help launch a new Lego product line.

"Lego Legends of Chima," scheduled to open March 7, features the fantastical world of Chima, where animal warriors engage in epic battles over "Chi," a mystical energy source of limitless power and destruction, Ronchetti said.

A 4-D film is like a 3-D movie, but with physical effects that can be felt by the audience.

Ronchetti also said an addition to the park's growing "Star Wars" area is scheduled for June, with details to come.

Legoland is also starting a "Junior Concierge" contest in which six contestants aged 8-12 will be provided with a free weekend stay with their families so they can share their knowledge of the park with other young guests.

Ronchetti told 10News people are turning what used to be a one-day trip into two- and three-day trips because there is more to do at the park.

Park officials believe 2013 will be even more lucrative, in part because of the resort.

The privately-owned company would not discuss finances with 10News, but it is no secret more visitors can bring more money to the local economy.

10News learned prices for the hotel start at $149.

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