SACRAMENTO, CA – Chair of the Assembly Committee of Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton) and Vice Chair and Joint Author, Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares (R – Santa Clarita) introduced Assembly Bill 420 (AB 420) which would assist in the safe reopening of Theme Parks in California.
The prolonged COVID-19 related closures of California’s amusement parks have created devastating outcomes for surrounding businesses and communities. While job losses have occurred in nearly every sector of the economy, they have been most acute in sectors not fully able to telework such as hospitality and leisure.
“Now, more than ever, we need to strengthen our resolve to care for each other and to create clear and proper tiers to ensure the safety and health of our community and businesses,” said Committee Chair, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “Through collaboration with industry leaders, responsible and safe tourism can be used as a pathway to recovery.”
In December of 2020 the Industry Guidance for Theme Parks was amended, allowing operation of smaller theme parks in the Moderate (orange) tier but confining larger parks to the Minimal (yellow) tier. The intent of AB 420 is to adjust the guidance for all amusement parks, regardless of size to open safely within the same tier.
“We deeply appreciate Assembly Members Quirk-Silva and Valladares for their leadership and for introducing legislation on Safe Theme Park Reopening,” said Erin Guerrero, Executive Director, California Attractions and Parks Association. “Worldwide, theme parks have proven they can reopen responsibly while protecting the health of guests and staff. Science and data show it can be done. California should allow theme parks to reopen responsibly in the Orange – Moderate – Tier 3.”
“As a veteran of the theme park industry, I intimately understand their operations, their procedures, and their ability to move people and keep them safe,” said Committee Vice Chair, Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez-Valladares. “The industry, and Six Flags Magic Mountain in my district, has been closed for nearly a year, while parks in other states have been open to the public and serving them safely. By opening our theme parks, we will trigger a ripple effect to our local economy, and in turn, create more jobs. It’s time to offer clear guidelines that will balance public health and the need to safely get people back to work, and this bill is the first step.”
As the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva will continue to advocate and explore options to ensure the safety and health of all of our tourism industries.