Anaheim Chamber of Commerce Launches Initiative to Get Disneyland Reopened
If you’ve been following along with MickeyBlog over the past few weeks then you know that the State of California is coming under increased pressure to issue the long awaited theme park reopening plan. Governor Newsom said in a press conference back on September 16th that a plan would be issued soon. However with theme parks continuing to hang on frustrations are starting to arise and Disney execs are becoming surprisingly more vocal about the lengthy closure.
Disneyland President Kenneth Potrock is no longer hiding his frustration over the fact that the State is dragging their feet when it comes to reopening the parks and now it looks like the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce is following suit! A new website has sprung up to generate signatures in a petition designed to reopen business in Orange Country.
A statement on the website reads as follows:
There are 264,000 people out of work across Orange County. Countless businesses remain closed, some for good, and our cities see debt mounting by the millions every week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our communities hard, much like the rest of the California. However, as the rest of the country begins to open up, the economic engines of the tourism industry here in Orange County remain closed. Our community is struggling, and we need Governor Newsom to issue theme park industry health and safety guidelines, NOW.
Government agencies and businesses have invested in infrastructure, safety protocols and operational training to ensure the health and welfare of employees, residents, and visitors. Many of these are already in place at Downtown Disney, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Disneyland, and at Disney theme parks around the globe that have already reopened.
There have been no COVID-19 outbreaks traced back to any of the 20 major theme parks that have been allowed to re-open elsewhere in the nation. It’s time to responsibly reopen our theme parks.
Just underneath the official statement is also an official video by the City of Anaheim Chamber of Commerce regarding the shutdown which we’ll share below.
This is definitely a bold move from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and as you can see the closure of Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks is definitely the focus. A scroll through the website also takes you to a handful of press releases with the same message. Including one that is very Disneyland focused which we wanted to share with you!
ANAHEIM, Calif., (September 25,2020) — Today, Hong Kong Disneyland is reopening its doors
to the public, while the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim remains closed and awaiting health and
safety guidelines from Governor Newsom to reopen. Theme parks around the world have been
opening for months now and are following strict safeguards to keep their employees and guests
safe, without evidence of any COVID-19 outbreaks.
“For six months the Disneyland Resort has been closed and the consequences are dire with our
regional tourism industry at a virtual standstill,” Todd Ament, President & CEO of the Anaheim
Chamber of Commerce, said. “The economic impact to our region is more than $1.3 billion in
lost revenue to the cities, county, and local businesses.”
Cities around the Resort are ready to start their economic recovery and need guidelines now.
The Disneyland Resort, a centerpiece of the Orange County tourism industry ecosystem, is
responsible for about 100,000 jobs in Southern California.
“In Orange County, the number of cases from COVID-19 has been trending down because cities
and businesses have invested in infrastructure, safety protocols and operational training to
ensure the health and welfare of employees, residents, and visitors,” Ament said. “It is time we
reopen the Disneyland Resort and start the recovery now.”
For more information, please visit www.ReOpenOCNow.com.
Though it should be noted that this article again quotes Todd Ament, the President and CEO of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, it is very on message with recent statements released by Potrock. In a piece we reported on from the Orange County Register yesterday, we’ve seen the Disneyland President become more vocal about his frustrations over not yet seeing a reopening plan from Governor Gavin Newsom. He was quoted as saying, “Without those guidelines, we’re quite honestly in limbo.” Potrock continues, “We are ready to open responsibly, it is the time to open responsibly and it’s important to open responsibly.”
As the video outlines above, Anaheim continues to struggle economically in the wake of COVID-19. There is a $100 million budget deficit in the county and an historically high unemployment rate of 15%. Potrock had this to say regarding to the state of affairs in the city“I was walking the streets of Anaheim earlier this week and unfortunately it’s a ghost town.” The Disneyland president added, “The same thing could be said for many of the surrounding towns as well. There’s just no one there. It’s just so incredibly heart wrenching.”
It will be interesting to see whether the mounting pressure from the Chamber of Commerce, residents and Disney execs is able to push the State toward releasing these guidelines sooner rather than later. Disney certainly thinks so. Earlier this week they started offering a mid-October hotel discount for two of its three onsight resorts and Cast Members said that they were anticipating that theme park tickets would return to sale the beginning of next week.
However, with lack of a current cohesive plan, its hard to imagine that happening. For those interested in signing the petition, you’ll find it here.