The future of two Walt Disney Co. theme parks grew fuzzier this week following separate developments relating to Disney’s proposed $ 3 billion Westcot project and the money-losing European park, Euro Disney.
The head of the Westcot project, Kerry Hunnewell, stepped down suddenly on Monday, with no reason given for his departure.
Ken Wong, senior vice president of Disney Development Co. in Burbank, would only say that Hunnewell’s resignation was “a decision we came to together.”
No new director will be chosen immediately, Wong said, adding that other project members will assume Hunnewell’s duties.
Hunnewell’s resignation from the Westcot venture comes at a critical time for the project, a theme park Disney has proposed to build — along with a huge hotel, theater and retail complex — adjacent to Disneyland. Disney has been haggling for months with state and Anaheim officials about who will bear costs for parking facilities and public works to support Westcot.
Roy Disney, Walt Disney Co. vice chairman, said last week that Westcot may need to be scaled down, and Wong said this week the project is not economically feasible now and cost-cutting measures will be needed.
In Paris, meanwhile, auditors reported Wednesday that Euro Disney could shut down if the Walt Disney Co. and 60 banks fail to agree on a restructuring plan for the troubled park.
The official publication of the park’s previously announced 1992-93 financial results on Wednesday contained some strong language from auditors concerning the park’s future. “The company might be unable to continue as a going concern” if the plan is not completed, auditors said in the report. That statement matches what Euro Disney officials have been hinting since last month.