Several sources are reporting that Disney has selected a design firm and construction management company for the rumored resort being planned for the abandoned River Country site on the shore of Bay Lake next to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
The design firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (now known as WATG) has reportedly been selected as the lead designer for the resort, and Balfour Beatty will be the construction manager for the project.
WATG is probably most well known in the US for the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, and has also designed the Grand Floridian Resort at WDW. Balfour Beatty is locally known for the recently-completed Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, and is currently constructing the new tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
The resort is rumored to cost $350 million to build, not including the major site prep work that needs to happen in order to turn River Country from a waterpark into a hotel. The site prep work will utilize the 30-acre “Project 89” site for stockpiling earthwork that we told you about last month.
It is expected that this resort will have around 300 DVC rooms (2-bedroom equivalent units, which can be separated into 1-bedroom units and studios), plus another 400 standard hotel rooms. The hotel will not open for several years, well after the Riviera Resort, the Coronado Springs tower, and the Star Wars Hotel have opened.