Cable channels looking for a leg up on grabbing a larger market share of viewers are doing more than just programming new shows. Many of them are taking it to the streets and in some cases, the ocean, which is where Cartoon Network enters the picture.
On Tuesday, Cartoon Network announced it will be opening a hotel slated to be in operation by 2019. It'll be the first resort opportunity for the cable service, which will partner with Palace Entertainment to establish a 165-suite accommodation hub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It'll sit on nine acres of property right by the Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park.
A location next to a theme park might be an added bonus, but Cartoon Network is gearing up to ensure that staying in the hotel will be an experience in itself. To that end, the staff isn't settling for cardboard cutout knockoffs of animated characters littering the lobby. Nope, they plan to go all out, by adding technology, design, and animation where possible while guests are on the premises.
How that's going to happen is anybody's guess right now, but the brass did let on that characters from favorite shows will make themselves visible via employees dressing up for those parts. Imaging one of the Powerpuff Girls at the front desk, Steven Universe helping you with your bags, or getting a peek at Jake from Adventure Time in the kitchen flipping bacon pancakes over a hot griddle.
Regardless of who's shimmying into those cartoonish outfits, the network is also promising as much technological interactivity it can dream of in the lobby, indoor and outdoor pools, games room, and other amenities. There are also plans to create an outdoor venue complete with an amphitheater and giant screen to show.... well, very likely, Cartoon Network content.
As for the hotel suites, the miracles of interactivity would presumably change the theme of the suite to the liking of the young 'uns tagging along. Not big on Peppa Pig? Switch to Robot Chicken, at least once the kids are asleep.
Hey, this could be an opportunity for other cable channels to jump in on that bandwagon. Given the notoriety of Fox News these days, that brain trust would have a riot creating a theme hotel. Let's start with a Sean Hannity likeness as a waiter arguing over the tip.