Disney’s billion dollar expansion plan: A homerun for SoCal’s future economic prosperity

IRVINE, CA— Orange County Business Council (OCBC) released the following statement today in response to Anaheim City Council’s vote last night to extend the entertainment tax exemption for Disneyland Resort:

As the county’s largest employer and leading contributor to the region’s economy, Disneyland Resort’s plan to invest $1 billion into a state-of-the-art park expansion is a monumental growth opportunity for Southern California. OCBC fully supports the decision by Anaheim City Council to extend the entertainment tax exemption for the resort to allow a development venture that will bring thousands of jobs and billions more in economic activity to the city, county and region.

“Anaheim would not be where it is today without Disney, and likewise, the county and entire Southern California region greatly benefits from the company’s tremendous investment and global success over its 60 years of operation,” said Lucy Dunn, President and CEO, OCBC. “Disney is an international beacon of innovation in the entertainment and tourism industries, and has many options when it comes to expansions, we are proud to support a company that continually invests back into its roots to create more economic opportunity for all that live and do business here.”

In the 20 years that Anaheim has officially implemented this investment-friendly “no-gate-tax” policy, Disney has redeveloped the Anaheim Resort Area into a world-class, multi-day family destination that attracts millions of visitors a year. Since then, the Resort has doubled its workforce, increased attendance to the park by 82 percent, and doubled tourism-related taxes paid to the city of Anaheim to more than $110 million per year.

The Resort currently employs approximately 30,000 people and accounts for an additional 25,250 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the Southern California region for a total of 55,200 jobs and an annual economic impact of $5.7 billion.  Continuation of the entertainment tax exemption allows for the development of the largest infrastructure investment in the Anaheim Resort in 20 years, which would include development of the proposed Harbor Gateway and parking structure.  It is estimated that the total expansion would result in the creation of approximately 2,100 additional permanent jobs at Disneyland Resort, $15 million additional annual tax revenues to the city, and $14 billion of economic output over 40 years, which benefits all of Southern California.

“Orange County and the region are thriving in a post-recession economy because of private investment opportunities like Disney’s,” said Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Advisor, OCBC. “In order to continue the success of the past, we should be doing what we can to encourage more job creation and investment instead of implementing barriers to future growth.”

About OCBC:
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America’s sixth largest county. For more information, visit www.ocbc.org

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