Nexus Companies first entered the Anaheim, Calif., market in November 2015 with the Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort – Convention Center. Featuring a 15,000-square-foot amenity deck, it offers a host of entertainment options outside of a typical hotel’s purview, including a game room, an outdoor movie wall, a basketball court, an arcade and putting greens. Still, Nexus President Cory Alder noticed it was missing something its competitor, the Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, had: a waterpark.
Less than a year after Nexus’ Homewood Suites opened, the company had begun discussions with a property owner about a mile away. “We wanted an additional asset in the marketplace, but we wanted to do a few things differently,” Alder said. By early 2017, it had broken ground on the Cambria Hotel Anaheim Resort Area.
This summer—likely in August—Nexus will open the 352-room Cambria. And this time the hotel will not find itself missing something a competitor down the road has. Its waterpark, at 30,000 square feet, combines the best of both the Homewood Suites and the Courtyard’s amenity spaces. Exclusively available for hotel guests, it includes a pool, water slides, a wading pool, a pop-up jet, a Jacuzzi, a putting green, an outdoor movie wall and basketball courts.
Aside from the waterpark, the property’s other notable major feature will be its 15,000 square feet of retail. Located outside the main hotel structure, the space includes a small AT&T store, as well seven food-and-beverage chains: Starbucks, Luna Grill, California Fish Grill, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, The Habit Burger Grill, Yogurtland and Jersey Mike’s Subs.
Knowing Your Market
According to the 2018 AECOM and TEA Theme Index and Museum Index Report, Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim received more than 18.6 million visitors last year, making it the second most visited amusement/theme park in the world. Disney California Adventure Park, also located at Disneyland Resort, brought in more than 9.8 million. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opened in late June, is bound to bring even more visitors to the area this summer.
“The first thing you want to know about a hotel is where your demand drivers are, who’s going to stay at the hotel,” Alder said. For the Cambria, that demand driver is Disneyland. About a 10-minute walk away, according to Alder, Disneyland Resort would be the main draw for most any hotel nearby. Alder estimated 90 to 95 percent of the Cambria’s visitors will be there for Disneyland.
“Given the proximity to Disneyland and California Adventure, we wanted to create a hotel designed for the family traveler,” Alder said. Those family-friendly features not only include the child-focused amenities, like the waterpark and special kids’ suites with bunk beds, but also the convenience of food retail and complimentary breakfast. These things, he explained, “truly enable [the hotel] to act as a base camp for family visitors to Anaheim and the surrounding area."
Cambria Hotel Anaheim Resort Area Fast Facts
Though it’s less than 2 miles from the Anaheim Convention Center, Alder expects Disneyland Resort to draw 90 to 95 percent of its visitors.
NUMBER OF ROOMS
When you think of potential construction problems in southern California, your first thought probably isn’t the rain. But this past winter, that was exactly the issue Alder said the hotel faced. With the roof and windows not completely on when the rain started, the construction team had to deal with water intrusion, something Alder said wasn’t too difficult. What hurt progress the most was the construction delays. “So when it's raining, people aren't working on the roof, they aren't working on the windows, they can't work on the site work, especially around where the pool area was,” he said. Overall, Alder said it cost the hotel two and a half to three months. “It’s good for California, we needed it, but it’s not helpful for construction."