CARLSBAD - Legoland’s aggressive expansion took another step forward Wednesday, as the park broke ground on the new Castle Hotel.
The hotel will have 250 rooms, the same size as their original hotel which opened in 2013.
“We did extensive research,” CEO Peter Ronchetti said. “What we found is the hotel themes are the most popular at our current hotel. So we decided to expand that.”
The new hotel will have rooms themed after princesses, knights and wizards.
It will also have a “Grand Hall” entrance, a new restaurant and a nightly jousting tournament show that is exclusively for guests.
“It’s an ever green theme, everyone gets it, it’s fun, interactive. It’s almost like role play meeting a hotel stay,” Ronchetti said.
It’s the latest expansion of the park, which has plans to add a new attraction every year for the next decade.
In 2017, they’re adding a “Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens” model to their mini-land. They’re also expanding the water park, and adding "Surfer’s Bay," a new kids are and slide.
In the past few years, they’ve added Ninjago the Ride, an entire land themed after their popular Heartlake City toys and a 21-foot-tall One World Trade Center Tower, among other attractions.
All the expansion has been great for the City of Carlsbad as well.
The new hotel will add about 200 jobs. Carlsbad’s Chamber of Commerce says for every job the park adds, it creates another 10 throughout the city.
"People who come here also come to the restaurants, they come to our retail shopping, they come to our village, they enjoy our beaches,” Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall said. “So it's not just a one day event. Often they'll spend a week here. And they're the draw that makes that happen."
The hotel will take up about 145,000 square feet of space. It will be built near the front entrance of the park, in an area currently being used as part of the parking lot.
The Castle Hotel is set to open in spring of 2018.