Universal Studios Hollywood Asks L.A. County to Allow Theme Parks to Reopen

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Theme parks in Los Angeles County are urging local officials to allow them to reopen between mid-June and July 1, arguing that they can do so safely.

Karen Irwin, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios Hollywood, asked the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to allow theme park workers to return to work immediately in order to prepare for a reopening. The county’s amusement parks include Six Flags Magic Mountain and Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier.

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She said that it is a “misperception” that theme parks should be among the last facilities to reopen, noting that park visitors spend most of their time outdoors.

“Theme parks actually offer a more controlled environment than beaches, gardens or hiking trails,” said Irwin, speaking at a meeting of the county’s Economic Resiliency Task Force. She said that the industry is developing protective measures that will allow for physical distancing, and noted that parks have the ability to limit capacity and manage guest flow.

“We would like approval to begin the reopening process immediately in order to get our employees back to work,” she said. “L.A. County parks will be ready to begin reopening between mid-June and July 1.”

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