A Nickelodeon-themed hotel is coming to Garden Grove

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — SpongeBob SquarePants, meet Mickey Mouse.

Nickelodeon is coming to Garden Grove.

What You Need To Know

  • A Nickelodeon-themed hotel and resort is coming to Garden Grove
  • The Garden Grove City Council approved the project last week
  • The project consists of a 500-room hotel, a 600-seat theater, a kid’s lounge, meeting space, a pool and a lazy river, and more
  • The project will sit along the Garden Grove side of the Anaheim Resort District

Last week, the Garden Grove City Council finalized the approval of the building of a new Nickelodeon-themed hotel and resort on 3.7-acres along Harbor Boulevard. The council voted 6-0 with one council member, John O’Neill, absent.

“I think this is a good project that the city has been waiting for many, many years,” said Garden Grove City Council Member Diedre Thu-ha before voting yes on the project.  

The planned location of the Nickelodeon proposed hotel. (Courtesy Garden Grove)

The proposed project is about six years in the making and is located in the Garden Grove side of the Anaheim Resort District, about two miles south of the Disneyland Resort. 

In the past decade, Garden Grove has slowly built out its side of the resort district as they try to get its share of the millions of visitors who come to Orange County to visit Disneyland or catch a game at the Honda Center or Angel Stadium. 

In 2015, the city struck a deal with Great Wolf Lodge to open along Harbor Boulevard. And there are a pair of boutique Kimpton Hotels currently in development in the city.

However, the city is rebounding from coronavirus pandemic-related shutdowns that hurt the city’s leisure and hospitality industry. Last fiscal year, the city’s transient occupancy tax revenue dropped 74% or $19.5 million from the pre-pandemic level, city records show. 

Nickelodeon officials did not return a Spectrum News message seeking comment.

Arcadia-based Kam Sang Co., a real estate and hospitality firm, is developing the Nickelodeon project, comprising a 23-story 500-room hotel, a Nickelodeon theater, a lazy river, a high-end restaurant, arcade, spa and fitness, a 600-seat theater and over 500 parking spaces. 

City staff said the contemporary resort would include a pool deck on the sixth level with a lazy river and pool slide. 

The Garden Grove location would be Nickelodeon’s third resort. The cable channel known for dumping slime on participants on their game shows and child programming also has resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Here’s a more detailed look at some amenities currently proposed in the Garden Grove resort:

  • The 600-seat Nick Studio will have stadium seating. The studio will host character shows, Nickelodeon-themed game shows and other entertainment productions. 
  • Studio Hall is an entertainment space designed to resemble a production studio space. Nickelodeon-themed art and sculptures will decorate the room, and recreational games such as foosball, video games and checkerboard will be available for visitors.
  • The Kid’s Lounge will feature an interactive play experience for children and adults, including slides, swings, video games and video projections. 
  • The outdoor pool deck will be themed as SpongeBob SquarePants and feature pools, a lazy river and a pool slide
  • A fine-dining restaurant called The Odeon will sit on the top level of the hotel. The restaurant will offer an intimate and upscale environment away from the hotel’s main entertainment areas.

    Rendering of the Nickelodeon hotel in Garden Grove. (Courtesy Garden Grove)

    According to the Orange County Register, the city owns the vacant parcel, estimated to be about $10 million, and will sell the land to the developer at a discounted rate of $920,000. The city will also reimburse 60% of the bed tax it collects back to the developer.

    The Register added that the city believes the new development could generate $236 million in taxes and other economic benefits in the region.

    “This is one step in many steps ahead,” said Garden Grove City Council Member Stephanie Klopfenstein.