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crazy4wdw
02-14-2007, 07:40 AM
Euro Disney, developer team up
The 2 companies plan to build a 5,000-unit eco-tourism vacation village outside Paris.

Gregory Viscusi and Ladka Bauerova | Bloomberg News
Posted February 14, 2007

Euro Disney SCA, Europe's largest theme-park operator, and Pierre & Vacances SA, the continent's biggest vacation-apartment company, are teaming up to build an eco-tourism vacation village near Paris.

The companies' chief executive officers signed an accord with the government Tuesday to build about 5,000 houses and apartments on a 1,300-acre site. The project will be located about 22 miles east of the French capital and less than four miles from Euro Disney's two theme parks.

The village will generate up to 9,000 jobs in the region, executives said at a news conference in Paris. They expect to attract $2.3 billion in private real-estate investment. The first phase will open in 2010, they said.

"We see this project as a strategic addition to our existing activities," Euro Disney CEO Karl Holz said. "We conducted numerous studies and concluded that there is a lot to be gained" from eco-tourism, he said.

The village will be built according to the World Wildlife Fund's One Planet Living principles, which include offsetting all carbon emissions, recycling waste and water, using sustainable materials, and protecting the natural habitat and wildlife.

Cars will be banned from the project, and visitors will be transported by boats on artificial canals.

The developers aim to bank on growing appetite for "green" tourism while profiting from the proximity of Paris, the world's most-visited capital city, according to its official Web site.

"The amusing paradox is to do eco-tourism 35 kilometers from Paris," said Pierre & Vacances Chairman Gerard Bremond. "It might sound a little surreal, but for us it's a fantastic opportunity."

The companies have been in talks since 2003 and each spent $1.3 million on research, according to the executives. They will continue market and technical research until next year before beginning construction.

"A project of this magnitude takes time and effort," Holz said. "We still have a great deal to study."

The Walt Disney Co. owns 39.8 percent of Euro Disney.