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Rasulo Posits on Disney's Future

February 8, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

Attendees of Walt Disney's Parks and Resorts' investor's conference in Orlando on Wednesday got a "rare glimpse behind the curtain," according to company Chairman Jay Rasulo, as he shared ideas the company is considering such as creating additional theme parks and stand-alone Disney-themed businesses, such as hotels and retail spaces. For now, these concepts remain on the drawing board. Rasulo said Asia, China specifically, might offer opportunities for theme parks in addition to Hong Kong Disneyland. Not all theme parks would be the size of the company's current parks, he said, which tend to generate high volumes with lower spending per guest. "We know some people want deeper, even more immersive experiences, and are willing to pay more to get them," Rasulo said, suggesting a "niche" park that would serve a smaller, daily audience in what Rasulo deemed "a more intimate setting." Rasulo also suggested creating facilities in downtown areas of major cities. "Given their strong performance, imagine if we took the same concept of high-quality retail, dining and entertainment, and placed it as a stand-alone entity away from any theme park," he said. "Expanding our resorts beyond our theme park destinations could help us claim a greater share of the hotel industry," he said. "It would also allow families to make shorter, more convenient trips to a Disney immersive experience."

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