Universal Studios Asks Los Angeles County For Permission to Reopen

Universal Studios Hollywood is asking L.A. County to allow theme parks to begin the work of reopening. Karen Irwin is the president and chief operating officer of the theme park, and she asked the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to let them start bringing workers back to prepare according to Variety. The group of parks is currently targeting a mid-June to July 1 date for reopening. Six Flags Magic Mountain and Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier are also amusement facilities inside the county’s limits. In her comments to the board, she called the idea that theme parks should be among the last locations to reopen a “misconception.” It remains to be seen what choice the county will make in the case of Universal Studios.

“Theme parks actually offer a more controlled environment than beaches, gardens or hiking trails,” Irwin said while speaking at an Economic Resiliency Task Force meeting. “We would like approval to begin the reopening process immediately in order to get our employees back to work. L.A. County parks will be ready to begin reopening between mid-June and July 1.”

She reiterated the fact that the industry has been hard at work developing protective measures that will allow for physical distancing. Irwin also noted that parks have the ability to limit capacity and manage guest flow. Also of note to visitors will be the fact that the theme park industry isn’t expected to return to last year’s levels until 2023. So, people visiting in Los Angeles and surrounding areas will be crucial for a lot of these places’ survival. For now, June 5th is still the scheduled day for reopening at Universal Orlando. There will be temperature checks waiting or visitors at the door and they will need face coverings aside the park. Social distancing will also be enforced throughout the park.

Universal Orlando’s City Walk has been open since mid-May:

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"We will begin limited operation of select venues at Universal Orlando's CityWalk on Thursday, May 14 as we take the first steps toward reopening our destination," Universal said in a statement at the time of CityWalk's reopening. "The health and safety of our guests and team members remains our top priority and we are taking specific measures that include screening our guests and team members, social distancing and requiring everyone to wear a face covering. We will also be limiting capacity at venues and increasing our already-aggressive cleaning and disinfection procedures. Select venues are scheduled to open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m."

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