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Investors imagine a Chinese future

A delegation drops by Glendale to discuss tourism and a possible Disney resort in China.

July 07, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com

A Disney theme park in Chao Hu, China? It might happen someday. And if it does, Glendale — as the home of Disney’s theme park creative division — will become a more familiar city to those living half a world away.

Looking for investment opportunities, a delegation from Chao Hu met with Glendale city officials Wednesday.

Chao Hu, located in the eastern part of China, is next to Lake Chao, the fifth largest fresh-water lake in China — a natural resource that officials there are using to their economic advantage.

The area has several hot springs, perfect for a health spa. So, a large resort is about to be constructed beside the lake in an effort to attract tourists. The Chinese delegates said they are seeking investments from entertainment companies to build tourism.

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Chao Hu has a population of about 4.5 million people and is near two major airports.

Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver, who met with the delegation, said an arrangement could be possible in the future.

“[Chao Hu] will probably start with hotels and then could possibly migrate into a Disney-esque type of resort,” he said. “But they need the population to keep Disney running and that won’t happen until they build a pretty extensive resort.”

Glendale is home to Disney’s Imagineering division, the creative force behind the studio’s theme parks.

“They’re conceptualized, designed and built here,” Glendale Community Development Director Hassan Haghani told the visitors.

But Chao Hu already has business connection with Glendale.

Wang Changfu, a Chao Hu native and founder of BYD Auto, may open a showroom in Glendale for his small electric cars, Weaver said — the first such dealership in the U.S.

Several months ago, a BYD team started working at the Cars 911 dealership on Brand Boulevard, servicing a fleet of the cars that was sold to the Housing Authority of Los Angeles.
 
 

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