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Disneyland shutdown, $ 5 billion blow to Southern California economy, says Cal State Fullerton – Orange County Register

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The pandemic closure of Disneyland has already cost the Southern California economy $ 3 billion and will cost it another $ 2 billion until March 2021 if the theme park remains closed, according to a Cal State forecast. Fullerton.

Anil Puri, director of the university’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting, said economists at the school made these estimates based on work sponsored by Disneyland a year ago that attempted to quantify the economic footprint of the resort. Anaheim Park’s strong visitor attraction fuels many related businesses, such as hotels and restaurants.

Anil Puri, director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting at Cal State Fullerton.

The estimated $ 5 billion loss comes as Disneyland and the California theme park industry are in an uphill battle with Governor Gavin Newsom over how and when attractions, which have been closed since spring, can reopen. New health guidelines released on Tuesday suggest that most park reopening will not happen until next year, if not next summer.

Based on the previous estimate of the park’s $ 8.5 billion impact on the region and assuming an extended shutdown, Fullerton estimates a loss of 46,000 Disneyland and related jobs in Southern California, 28,000 already lost. until September and another 18,000 jobs could be lost by March. Orange County will suffer the biggest casualties in the region: 33,000 people.

“It’s substantial; they’re not peanuts, ”Puri said.

Several factors keep some of that $ 8.5 billion in the local economy, even with the park closing. Much is financial aid for the unemployed although Puri noted that aid is in doubt if Congress and the White House cannot craft another stimulus package. In addition, some of the money that would have been spent in or around the theme park will be spent in other places in the area.

Puri said it might not be until the end of 2021 that the tourism industry will return to a more normal pace, “but that depends on how you and I behave.”

The economic fallout from the coronavirus won’t go away anytime soon, he says. The pandemic will need to be tamed by following government advice on masks, hand washing and social distancing until a vaccine is widely available, Puri notes.

It also notes that California’s strict pandemic policy rules, criticized by many business leaders, have helped the state fight the pandemic better than its economic peers in Texas and Florida.

These states have much less restrictive health mandates, but much higher rates of coronavirus cases and death per capita. Yes, they also had better economic performance.

“We have to fight the right enemy,” he said. “It’s not the government. The battle is with the virus. “

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