Vice President Mike Pence visited Orlando today to meet with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and local leaders from Florida’s tourism industry to discuss reopening their economy.
Tourism is a major driver of the Central Florida economy, and many business leaders stressed the importance of opening as soon and as safely as possible.
Pence commended the “inspiring” and “tremendously admirable” decision by theme parks like Disney and SeaWorld to close in mid-March, and noted that “everybody put safety first.” When it came time to discuss the possibility of reopening, all major theme parks pointed to signs of optimism that consumer demand is there.
George Kalogridis from Disney reported that Shanghai Disneyland’s reopening had a great response, with tickets selling out quickly for first day, and overall had a strong launch. He also mentioned the reopening of Disney Springs today, and talked about how the programs that came from the government to assist employees during this time are “appreciated.”
Other officials from major Central Florida theme parks spoke briefly as well. Marc Swanson from SeaWorld said that they hope to open by the end of June, and noted that they would need two weeks to prepare once the OK is given. John Sprouse from Universal Orlando mentioned that some of their attractions will have to change when they reopen, for example children’s play areas.
Vice President Pence concluded the meeting by saying that he is confident that America will open back up again, “sooner than most people think.”
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