Disney is using its $40 billion in economic impact and 167,000 jobs to make its case to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that the company should be able to continue with its “reopening process” during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In court documents recently filed in the battle between the state and the entertainment giant, Disney argues that it should be able to reopen the theme parks on its own terms and timetable. The company points to how much it contributes to the state’s economy, both in terms of jobs and tax money, and warns of the potential upheaval to Florida’s tourism industry should the governor’s restrictions remain in place.
Disney has declared that it has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create protective health measures in response to COVID-19 and plans to spend another $1 billion to maintain them. The company argues that these investments should be taken into consideration by the state.
The company also suggests that restrictions on reopening should be limited to Orange County, where the Disney World theme parks are located, and not escalated statewide. And it insists that the state has failed to provide scientific evidence that would support such an extension.
“It is in the best interest of all that the operations of employers like the Reopening Plaintiffs — which provide massive employment, support for thousands of businesses and contractors, and substantial tax revenues — remain as strong as possible,” the Disney legal team wrote.
The case remains ongoing.