The saga of California theme parks versus California Governor Gavin Newsom continues with the state leader indicating that no guidelines for re-opening these parks will be coming anytime soon and thus they will remain closed. Speaking in a press conference today, Newsom said they would be "stubborn" about releasing those guidelines and deciding on an open date, saying: "We don't anticipate, in the immediate term, any of these larger theme parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data. We're going to be stubborn about it, and that's our commitment, that's our resolve. While we feel there's no hurry putting out guidelines, we're continuing to work with the industry."
This is just the latest setback as theme parks have been asking Newsom for guidelines and the ability to re-open for weeks now. Two weeks ago the Chairman of Disney Parks called on the state to work with them to make it happen. In two words, D'Amaro said it all, "It's time."
"For communities such as Anaheim and Orange County, CA, Disneyland Resort is a crucial part of the economy," D'Amaro said at the time. "To our California government officials, particularly at the state level, I encourage you to treat theme parks like you would other sectors and help us reopen. We need guidelines that are fair and equitable, so that we can better understand our future and chart a path toward reopening. The longer we wait, the more devastating the impact will be to Orange County and the Anaheim community."
This statement came one week before The Walt Disney Company announced extensive layoffs to their parks sector, laying off upwards of 28,000 employees that are employed by one of Disney's numerous theme parks. According to D'Amaro, nearly 67-percent of the workers impacted by the layoff were part-time workers that had previously be furloughed since April. The official statement on the lay offs put some of the blame on the state, noting they came as a result of "unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen."
The first of October brought another surprising update in talks between the state of California and the California Attractions and Parks Association (who represents Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and California's Great America), as it was revealed the state was holding off on releasing their guidelines after being asked to do so by CAPA.
"Today California amusement park leaders who have been working for months to prepare to reopen responsibly saw an initial draft of state guidance and blueprint placement for California's amusement parks," CAPA executive director Erin Guerrero said in a statement. "While we are aligned on many of the protocols and health and safety requirements, there are many others that need to be modified if they are to lead to a responsible and reasonable amusement park reopening plan."
At this juncture it's unclear when these guideliness will be released but it's worth noting that Newsom's tone has changed drastically. On September 17, Newsom said that a reopening announcement for theme parks would be "soon," and now just three weeks later saying "We don't anticipate, in the immediate term, any of these larger theme parks opening until."
Check back here for more updates on Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood being able to reopen as we learn them, there's bound to be more news soon.