Step aside, Anaheim. Move over, Buena Park. There’s another city in Orange County ramping up to compete for hotel bed taxes and tourist sales revenue.

OK, it’s not exactly on the scale of Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm. But for Garden Grove, which has struggled financially for decades, getting resort dollars marks a sea change.

On Friday, a $250 million water park and hotel will open. But that is only the beginning.

City Manager Scott Stiles stands between two enormous vacant lots on either side of Harbor Boulevard. Just down the boulevard, the Great Wolf Lodge with its huge indoor water park prepares for opening day. Up the boulevard, and only about a mile away, lies Disneyland like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

On one of the empty lots will rise a 700-room hotel with an undisclosed occupant. On the opposite lot, plans are being firmed up for a 200-room boutique hotel.

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