Six months after theme parks closed across California because of the pandemic, Orange County politicians, trade-worker union leaders and tourism promoters expressed frustration that the state has yet to give Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm a path to reopen.
“It’s a disaster right here,” Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said at a Wednesday news conference, joining the mayors of Buena Park and Garden Grove on a hotel rooftop overlooking Disneyland. “How long are you going to keep us closed?”
Their ire was directed at Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said Wednesday that state officials were working on health protocols for reopening theme parks and that there would be “announcements soon” but did not specify when.
A recent study by a trio of Cal State Fullerton economists determined the financial strength of the Disneyland Resort, Orange County’s largest employer, with 31,000 workers before the pandemic — about 3.6% of all jobs in the county. That study continues to be cited by groups seeking to define the pandemic’s financial damage to city and county stability.
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