Travels: LEGO Expands Business With U.S.A. Hotel

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There’s two in Europe (Denmark and England) and now there will be one in Carlsbad, California: a LEGOland Hotel. Don’t worry, the place won’t be built out of LEGO’s – at least not the whole thing.

The hotel, complete with a dragon-guarded entrance is slated to open in early April of next year right outside the LEGOland theme park and will feature “interactive LEGO features, themed play areas, family pool and kid’s entertainment,” according to LEGO’s website. The 250 rooms at California’s LEGOland Hotel will all have a theme: Pirate, Kingdom, or Adventure.

The hotel is aimed at housing families who are in town to visit the LEGOland theme park, each room has two sleeping areas, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with sleeping spaces for up to three kids. After all, it’s hard to beat a brand extension you can sleep in.

The Danish company’s revenue should hit $4 billion this year even though the toy market overall isn’t exactly robust, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the last five years, LEGO has “nearly tripled sales and more than doubled head count.” And there are no plans to stop growing, as it defies critics (such as overcoming the Lego Friends uproar, 2012 worst toys lists be damned). LEGO is set to hire another 1,000 workers (including “Model Citizens” at LEGOland CA) in 2013 as it continues to expand.

Helping the company grow is its ability to license other mega-brands such as The Hobbit and Star Wars, as well as a constant push by LEGO lovers to build the coolest Lego structure ever, such as a massive 17-foot-by-10-foot Advent Calendar in London made of 600,000 bricks and seven weeks of effort (catch it through Dec. 24th), or one British family’s project: a 10-foot-tall model of Olympic mascot Wenlock.

Or there’s the ingenious fan-made LEGO M&M’s sorter. (Van Halen’s old roadies surely wish they had this thing). Or the Hermes Birkin bag ode on Etsy for $400. Or filmmakers who use Lego figures and blocks keep producing work that parodies the trailers of various Hollywood blockbusters. Their latest is a brick-lovers tribute to “The Dark Knight Rises.” That kind of constant fan-inspired promotion never hurts a brand.

LEGO, of course, is no stranger to using its own blocks to create some buzz, either. In advance of the new Hobbit movie, the brand built a set that emulates the home of The Hobbit’s Bilbo Baggins this past summer and is now showing off an actual life-size version of the set made of 2 million bricks that has Lord of the Rings fans salivating.

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