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Walt Disney Co.  Buys Land for Future Resort Hotel
at National Harbor near Washington, DC

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (May 19, 2009) - The Peterson Companies announced today the sale of land at its National Harbor development near Washington, DC to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney is considering using the 15-acre site overlooking the Potomac River in National Harbor, MD as the location for a resort hotel for families and others visiting the National Capital Region.
“We’re thrilled Disney has decided to invest in National Harbor,” said Milton V. Peterson, chairman of the Peterson Companies. “Disney is the top family entertainment company in the world, and its purchase is a great vote of confidence in the future of National Harbor and the Washington area as a top family tourism destination.”

The new resort hotel would be one of Disney’s stand-alone resort hotels separate from the Disney theme parks. This new resort hotel, like the project under construction in Hawaii, will be in a prime geographic location and will provide guests with the same comfort, fun and amenities for which Disney is famous.

“As we began identifying possible locations to grow our business, the Washington, DC area immediately jumped to the top of the list,” said Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “National Harbor offers an array of entertaining activities for regional visitors, but it is also a family-friendly base camp, from which visitors from around the world can explore the stirring sights and inspirational stories of our nation’s capital. We believe National Harbor has the unique opportunity to offer a new level of family-friendly hospitality.”

Disney purchased the Maryland property from the Peterson Companies for $11 million.

Project Overview
National Harbor™ and Gaylord National® Project Facts

National Harbor is a new 300-acre waterfront destination, set along a 1¼ mile panoramic stretch of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The cornerstone of this project is the new Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, the largest non-gaming hotel and convention center on the Eastern Seaboard.

At completion the total project will include:

  • 7,300,000 s/f of master plan mixed-use community in Prince George’s County, MD
  • 4,000 hotel rooms
  • 470,000 s/f Gaylord National convention center
  • 1 Million s/f of retail, dining, and entertainment space
  • 2,500 residential units
  • 500,000 s/f of class "A" office space
  • 3 piers, including a marina
  • 10,000 on-site parking spaces


In its first phase, National Harbor features 5 hotels and the Wyndham Vacation Resorts providing approximately
1,000 guestrooms in addition to Gaylord National.

  • Hilton’s Hampton Inn and Suites – 151 Rooms
  • Residence Inn by Marriott – 162 Rooms
  • Westin – 195 Rooms
  • Aloft – 195 Rooms
  • Wyndham Vacation Resorts Timeshare – 250 Units OPENING FALL 2009
  • 2,000 guestrooms including 108 lavish suites and 300 VIP Tower rooms
  • A spectacular 18-story, 1.65-acre multi-level atrium with views of the Potomac River and Old Town Alexandria
  • 470,000 s/f of flexible convention, meeting, exhibition and pre-function space
    • 180,000 s/f exhibition hall with 17 dedicated loading docks
    • 50,000 s/f ballroom featuring theatrical stage, plus outdoor balcony offering views of the Potomac River
    • 3 additional ballrooms of 30,000 s/f, 14,000 s/f and 8,100 s/f
    • 74 breakout rooms with maximum flexibility
  • National Harbor offers 450 condominiums in its first three buildings
  • One National Harbor, 242 unit
  • Fleet Street condominiums, 163 units
  • Waterfront Street condominiums, 18 units
  • Condominiums feature 1st class amenities such as rooftop swimming pool, underground parking and concierge services
  • 120,000 s/f of class “A” office space in the first two buildings—120 Waterfront Street and 174 Waterfront Street
  • Flexible floor plans that accommodate both small and large tenants
  • National Harbor provides an ideal location with spectacular views of the Potomac
  • A rare new opportunity for a time saving commute from Fairfax and Montgomery counties
  • Sasaki Associates Inc. and Land Design, the country’s premiere urban landscape designers, provided overall expertise and coordination of vision
  • Artwork, landscaping and tailored public spaces give National Harbor a feeling of urban elegance
  • Visitors to National Harbor who arrive by water are greeted by the sight of the great giant struggling to escape earthly bounds depicted in Seward Johnson’s evocative sculpture “The Awakening”.
  • The Beckoning, an 85’ contemporary sculpture created by Albert Palley, confirms your arrival to National Harbor
  • 2 artisan fountains will welcome visitors from parking areas
  • 2 featured pond fountains enhance restored natural habitats
  • Landscaping, a signature aspect of all Peterson developments, brings a resort-like atmosphere to the cityscape
  • “American Way”, the main thoroughfare running through National Harbor, recalls the spirit of America’s main street: vibrant, exciting and full of life
  • Direct access to National Harbor via I-95/495 Exit 2A makes it the only private community with direct access to the Capital Beltway
  • Direct access from I-295 Exit 1A, Route 210 and Oxon Hill Road
  • Easy access to Reagan National, Dulles International and Baltimore Washington International airports
  • Public bus transportation provided by The Maryland Department of Public Works and Transportation (MDOT) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
  • The $3 Billion new Woodrow Wilson Bridge is complete and includes 12 lanes and can now accommodate up to 400,000 vehicles

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Facts*

  • Disneyland Resort: 510 acres; three hotels; 2,224 rooms; 20,000 Cast Members Openings: Disneyland Park - 1955; Disney’s California Adventure – 2001
  • Walt Disney World Resort: 25,000 acres; 23 hotels; 24,500 rooms; 60,000 Cast Members Openings: The Magic Kingdom - 1971; Epcot - 1982; Disney’s Hollywood Studios - 1989; Disney’s Animal Kingdom - 1998; Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon - 1989; Disney’s Blizzard Beach - 1995; Disney’s Wide World of Sports – 1997
  • Tokyo Disney Resort: 494 acres; three hotels; 1,711 rooms; 20,000 Cast Members Openings: Tokyo Disneyland Park - 1983; Tokyo DisneySea – 2001
  • Disneyland Resort Paris: 4,800 acres; seven hotels; 5,760 rooms; 12,300 Cast Members Openings: Disneyland Paris - 1992; Walt Disney Studios Paris – 2002
  • Hong Kong Disneyland: 311 acres; two hotels; 1,000 rooms; 6,000 Cast Members Opening – 2005
  • Disney Cruise Line: Disney Magic (launched 1998) and Disney Wonder (launched1999); both 964 ft. in length; 877 staterooms; 3,000 Cast Members
  • Disney Vacation Club: Eight properties, 2,969 two-bedroom equivalents; 2,000 Cast Members; Opening – 1991
  • Walt Disney Imagineering: 1,000 Cast Members; Opening – 1952
  • The World of Disney Stores: three locations; 750 Cast Members; Opening - 1996
  • Total hotels: 38 with 34,000+ rooms
  • Total full-time, seasonal and part-time Walt Disney Parks and Resorts employees (excluding those of Euro Disney S.C.A., Oriental Land Co., Ltd., and Hong Kong Disneyland): 90,000+
*All figures are approximations as of May 2009

About National Harbor:
Rising from the banks of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, MD., National Harbor is a new 300-acre destination waterfront resort. With six hotels and 3,000 rooms, National Harbor features the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Many attributes include the tree-lined avenue American Way, public art including “The Awakening” sculpture by Seward Johnson, shops and offices, numerous high rise residences and the largest marina on the Potomac River. It is also the future home for the new Cesar Pelli-designed National Children’s Museum. The master developer for National Harbor is The Peterson Companies, one of the largest privately owned development companies in the greater Washington area specializing in large mixed use developments.

About Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are where dreams come true. More than 50 years ago, Walt Disney created a new kind of entertainment families could experience together, with detailed atmospheres and vibrant storytelling. His vision now includes a collection of five of the world's leading family vacation destinations: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Resort Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-class Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Vacation Club, with eight resorts and more than 350,000 members; Adventures by Disney, a guided group vacation experience to some of the world's most popular destinations; the World of Disney stores; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ first stand-alone resort hotel, Ko' Olina on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in October 2011. For more information and images, please visit


Tasia Filippatos 818-560-4107 (office)

Joan Gartlan 202-419-3249 (office)


Also See: Five Hotel Projects Join the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor; The Five Properties Adding 900 Hotel and Timeshare Units on Top of the Previously Announced 2,000-room Gaylord National Resort / April 2006
Jay Rasulo, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Named the 2008 Inductee into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders / July 2008



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