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Saturday, October 21, 2017

By Lori Weisberg, The San Diego Union-Tribune (TNS)

SAN DIEGO—Just two years after opening its first hotel, Legoland is looking to build a second one on its Carlsbad theme park property.

Like the current hotel, the project is planned to be three stories with 250 Lego-themed rooms and suites, situated on what is now a parking area. Details are still few, as Legoland only submitted a development application last month to the city of Carlsbad and it’s still early in the design stage.

What is known is that it will resemble a castle, including turrets, have a variety of themed rooms and will be located west of the existing Legoland Hotel in front of the Sea Life Aquarium. Plans call for a full-service restaurant and gift shop, a swimming pool and outdoor play areas, Legoland spokeswoman Julie Estrada said.

Ideally, Legoland and its parent company, Merlin Entertainments, would like to see the hotel open by 2018, she said.

Although there are a number of nearby hotels that draw from families visiting Legoland, the competition doesn’t seem to have hurt the themed hotel, which has proved popular from the day it opened. Over the last two years, its occupancy has averaged 80 percent annually, according to its general manager, Frank Idris.

Since the park opened in 1999, Legoland has doubled the number of attractions it has and with increased attendance, demand has grown for more hotel rooms to accommodate families who need more than one day to see the park and its related attractions, Estrada added.

The current Legoland California hotel has three different kinds of themed rooms and, come April, there will be a fourth, playing off its attraction Lego Friends Heartlake City. It’s undecided how the rooms will be themed at the proposed hotel.

©2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif., plans a second hotel on the property, with 250 Lego-themed rooms and suites opening in 2018. (Howard Lipin/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)