In a letter penned by eight California mayors from the state’s biggest cities calls on Governor Newsom to modify stringent state guidelines released as part of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy amid the pandemic and allow for theme parks to reopen and avoid possible yearlong closure.
The Big City Mayor’s Coalition wrote, “The guidelines put forth by your Administration were released within the framework of prioritizing public health and safety for guests and employees. This is the right focus. However, economic and public health are not mutually exclusive goals. We are concerned that the state’s guidelines would push re-opening of large theme parks up to a year out, which would have significant negative impacts on hundreds of thousands of jobs, thousands of small businesses, and billions in operating revenue for our cities.”
The letter was signed by Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, and Mayor Miguel Pulido of Santa Ana.
The mayors urge Newsom’s Administration to work alongside city leaders on reopening protocols for theme parks while upholding the safety of the public as the first priority. They ask for theme parks to open with reduce capacity in Tier Three, allowing for a limited capacity of 25% or 500 guests to visit the parks, rather than the current stated guideline that allows large parks to resume operations until the state achieves Tier Four. At the moment Orange County, where Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are located, is steadily in the red tier, while Los Angeles, home to Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park, ranks solidly in the purple tier.
Governor Newsom had no response yet to the letter, however, the Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer commended Newsom’s approach to try to balance the needs of the economy and the focus on the health safety of the community. “I’d really like everyone to concentrate on getting our rates down,” Ferrer told Deadline. “It’s impossible to imagine how we could reopen late theme parks when we have an increasing case rate.”