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Florida Attractions News

Here you can find the latest stories and announcements from the Florida Attractions Association.

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  • June 02, 2020 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    COVID-19 Liability
    A reoccurring concern expressed by business leaders to the Governor's Reopening Task Force was the exposure of businesses to lawsuits claiming COVID-19 was contracted at a specific business location. Senate President McConnell and many in Congress are supporting a provision in the next stimulus bill which would provide indemnification for businesses from legal liability if they have established and maintained appropriate safety protocols.

    A similar bill will be filed when the Florida Legislature meets for Special Session later this year.

    In the meantime, the FAA recommends you seek legal advice in providing declarations on your website and/or entrance to your facility. Possible considerations for public notice might include but are not limited to:
    • Risk of exposure and virulence of COVID-19
       
    • Potential of viral transmission anywhere people are gathered, irrespective of safety measures
       
    • Personal responsibility of guests to protect themselves (social distancing, mask, handwashing, etc.)

    • Require guests to follow safety protocols you have established for your facility (clearly defined and articulated)
       
    • Guests who are ill or display any symptoms and their party may not enter your attraction
       
    • Guests who are vulnerable are advised not to enter your attraction
       
    • Guests assume all risks by entering
    This guidance is provided as a service to our members and should not be constructed as legal advice. Please consult a skilled attorney for counsel based on the needs and potential liability exposure of your attraction.

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • June 01, 2020 10:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    FAA Members Serving Members
    Florida's attractions are slowly and cautiously beginning to reopen! In an effort the get Florida back to being the #1 vacation destination in the world, businesses that serve our industry are coming together to make sure you are poised for a successful reopening and smooth transition to normal operations.
     
    FAA Associate Members are ready to serve Attraction Members with complimentary consultation in their area of expertise. The FAA staff has compiled a directory of offers for you to use at your discretion.  

    Please use the below directory and know that your industry partners are here to serve you:

    In this updated version of the directory we sent out in April, you will find contact information, their times of availability, and a brief description of where they can be of assistance to help Florida's attractions to get up and running again better than ever. 

    There is no obligation, but please remember to consider the goods and services of FAA Supplier Associate Members first when you are ready to makes purchases for your attraction.

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • May 29, 2020 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Research
    The Florida Attractions Association has collected valuable research on the current state of COVID-19 economic recovery and consumer sentiment on travel and vacationing.  This research is available below and is also available on your association website.

     (multiple report) by US Travel Association

     

    COVID-19 FL Tourism Impacts 

    by VISIT FLORIDA

     

    COVID-19 Strategic Impacts 

    (various reports) by CIVIC Science

     

    COVID-19 Travel Insight Report 

    (updated frequently) by MMGY Global

     

    Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus 

    (updated weekly) by Destination Analysts

     

    COVID-19 Travel & Attractions Update

    (Wave 7) by H2R's

     

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • May 27, 2020 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Contact the U.S. Congress Today on Behalf of the Attractions Industry!

    Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are expected to vote on legislation to amend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We need you to ACT NOW! 

    Please contact your elected officials and urge them that any PPP amendments must include the following:
    • Increased loan forgiveness flexibility on how funds can be used and the timeline for usage from 8 to 20 weeks after commencement of loan.
       
    • Given the uncertainty of the pandemic and the ability of businesses to fully open, extend the duration of the program through December 31, 2020 and focus funds on the most severely impacted businesses such as those subject to mandatory shutdowns and social distancing requirements.
       
    • Given the anticipated slow recovery of the attractions industry to full capacity, increase loan repayment terms from 2 to 10 years.
       
    • For the purposes of eligibility for the PPP for seasonal businesses such as attractions industry businesses, change the definition of "employee" to "full-time equivalent" to accurately reflect the size of the business. Over 90% of the employment at an amusement park or attraction is comprised of employees who work less than a quarter of what a full-time employee works. This change would be consistent with the current Internal Revenue Code 45R(d)(2) loan amount which is based on actual payroll costs, and with the forgiveness sections of the Act which rely on full-time equivalent calculations.

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • May 22, 2020 12:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FAA Reflections on Memorial Day 2020

    Dear FAA Family,

    On the eve of this holiday weekend, I appreciate the opportunity to share with 
    you some thoughts on serving our industry during the past few weeks.

    We're all aware of the pain, suffering and death produced by the pandemic. The numbers are staggering and its tempting to discount the impact on lives as we've been desensitized of the magnitude of the disaster.

    It's rewarding to be in an industry that will be instrumental in the healing of a tired state, nation and world. Our FAA members will offer the relief we need and provide joy, inspiration, discovery and magic at a time when humanity needs it most.

    The past few weeks have been particularly rewarding as the FAA has worked to provide direction for many of our members as they work through the closing and reopening protocols specific to their situation.  Even better, to hear that our members are connecting with each other, sharing intel and experience, willing to help fellow members move through processes specific to their attraction type or location. After all, the power of our Association is the association we share with one another as an attractions family.

    We owe gratitude to so many - our families and friends, our coworkers, employees, colleagues. Our communities and leaders. The wisdom and collective experiences of our FAA members, the FAA Board, many seasoned attractions professionals and FAA Staff have all served to steer the FAA through these difficult weeks.

    Our lobby team at Liberty Partners of Tallahassee have been instrumental in many ways helping guide us through uncharted waters of state and local executive and emergency orders and regulatory pronouncements. Their behind-the-scenes work on your behalf is a FAA member benefit that has made the path to economic recovery smoother for our members.  

    As we move into the next chapter of our pandemic story, stay safe, follow your protocols, document everything, ensure your guests and staff are given the resources, training and information they need. Its is imperative, as an industry that we mitigate the threats of virus transmission and build confidence of the traveling public that our facilities can be safely enjoyed.

    As we celebrate Memorial Day, lets not forget to honor and mourn the valiant men and women who we've lost in the defense of our nation. They've protected our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To those heroes we've lost, we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

    With thankfulness for them and appreciation of you, best wishes for a safe, healthy holiday weekend.

    Sincerely,

    Bill


    Bill Lupfer
    President/CEO
    Florida Attractions Association
    850-222-2885


  • May 21, 2020 3:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Member Update - Reopening Attractions
    Dear Members,

    Thank you for your patience as we work together to Reopen Florida Attractions. We have previously provided insight into Governor DeSantis' Executive Order 2020-123 and the requirement of our members under the regulatory authority of the  Bureau of Fair Rides. There are City and County Executive Orders which are more restrictive (and in full force and effect) than 
    the State's. These include:

    Miami-Dade

    Broward

    Fort Lauderdale (City specific, but also reference Broward EO)
    Orange

    Orange County Mayor has established a process requiring "attractions" to submit a plan and go through a review process, including an inspection by the Orange County Building Department. Details here.

    We're beginning to collect samples of our member's submissions to government agencies and are hosting them for you on this Document Samples page. Since all submissions to government are public by law, you can help your fellow members by sharing your samples, too. Send them to daglis@floridaattractions.org

    Our Attraction Operating Status Page is the go-to page for visitors to Florida, VISIT FLORIDA, Florida's Welcome Centers, and the media. Please keep us informed of changes to your operating status including partial or full reopening date to daglis@floridaattractions.org. As of next weekend approximately 40% of our 125 attraction members will be partially or fully open.

    Two of our FAA member benefit programs, AttractionShare and VIP Benefit have been paused for a few weeks. We currently anticipate these programs restarting in July.

    We're updating and will reissue our Associate Member's complimentary consulting offers next week. Please consider using your fellow FAA Supplier Associate Members as you consider your needs for goods and services as we reopen our state.

    Your FAA Team is ready to serve you. If there is anything we can do to assist you in reopening your attraction, please let us know.


    Bill


    Bill Lupfer
    President/CEO
    Florida Attractions Association
    850-222-2885



  • May 20, 2020 1:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Bureau of Fair Rides
    Reopening Your Attraction Best Practices
    The following information is for FAA members who fall under the regulatory authority of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Bureau of Fair Rides.

    We have previously shared with you Governor DeSantis' Executive Order 2020-123 which was executed last Friday and became effective this week (12:01 am, Monday, May 18, 2020) as a "Full Phase 1" of his Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida's Recovery.

    We suggest you considering utilizing the following "best practices" steps to reopen your facility.
    1. Complete your Reopening Plan which includes a proposed date for the resumption of operations and proposed guidelines to ensure guest and staff safety. Reference that you've incorporated best practices from an industry association (either FAA or IAAPA) and your intent to comply with official guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and the Florida Department of Health.  

    2. Submit your reopening plan to your County or City Mayor or County Administrator requesting their written endorsement of your reopening plan. I suggest you include a copy of EO 2020-123 as a reference document with your request. (Orange County Attractions see note below).
       
    3. Submit your request (email template below) to reopen and attach the endorsement letter and your Reopening Plan to Governor DeSantis' office Adrian.Lukis@eog.myflorida.com and James.Uthmeier@eog.myflorida.com, CC: FairRides@FDACS.GOV as they are your regulatory/licensing entity. Your request to the State is "self-executing".
    Again, be sure to CC: your email to the Bureau of Fair Rides (fairrides@FDACS.gov) and also any other State regulatory agency as a courtesy and notification of your intent to reopen. It is also recommended that you copy your local law enforcement agency (County Sheriff/City Police) and County Health Department as a courtesy. Executive Orders are specifically enforced by County Sheriffs and you can find contact information for your local Sheriff here.

    Review this guidance from the Bureau of Fair Rides for details on ride inspection and license renewals.

    Document everything. Follow through with your plan.

    If you have any questions, please contact me.

    Bill


    Bill Lupfer
    President/CEO
    Florida Attractions Association
    850-222-2885

    Email Template
    Subject: Amusement Park Reopening; EO 2020-123

    Dear Governor DeSantis:

    Attached to this email is a copy of the Reopening Plan for <name of your attraction>. The plan includes a proposed opening date and guidelines to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. Also attached is an endorsement letter from <name, title, of county/city official>.

    We are in compliance with your Executive Order 2020-123 and have notified State and/or regulatory agencies of our plan to Reopen.

    Thank you for your leadership through the pandemic and for your Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida's Recovery.

    Sincerely,

    <your signature block>
     
    _____________________________________________________________


    Note: Orange County Attractions - County Mayor Demings has established a process for requesting his Endorsement Letter. We are waiting for that information and will forward it to our Orange County members when it is received and confirmed.


    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • May 18, 2020 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    --- FAA MEMBER ALERT ---
    EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-123
    EFFECTIVE MAY 18, 2020
    Since Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-123 on Friday, May, 15, we've worked with his office to develop guidance for our members.  Please review this document outlining details on how this Order affects your business.  Executive Order 20-123 becomes effective today, May 18, 2020.
     
    If you have any questions, please contact me 850-222-2885 or lupfer@floridaattractions.org
     
    Thank you,
     
    Bill

    Bill Lupfer
    President/CEO
    Florida Attractions Association

  • May 15, 2020 4:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Let's Reopen - Safe and Smart.
    This afternoon, Governor DeSantis moved Florida to a "full Phase One" effective Monday, May 18.


    "Amusement parks. Parks can submit reopening plans to the state. They should identify the date certain that they believe they can resume safe operations. They have to provide how they're going to do it. How they're going to accommodate the guests. How they're going to protect the staff and then they need to have an endorsement from the relevant official in their locality, Orange County Mayor or wherever you're talking about."

    Unfortunately, the Governor did not specify who at the state level should receive your reopening plan nor did he specify who at your county (except for Orlando) should endorse your reopening plan. We're seeking clarity on those two points now.

    The one-page graphic released after the press conference only addresses "amusement parks."

    Finally the Governor's own Plan for Florida's Recovery does not specifically address the attractions industry, except for "Theme Parks", which according to his plan should remain closed under Phase 1.

    Despite these mixed messages, you should have your reopening plan completed and begin preparations for reopening. Resources are available here (FAA) and here (IAAPA).

    We're waiting for the Governor's Executive Order to be posted and will forward it to you as soon as it is available.

    Please contact me with any questions.

    Thank you,

    Bill

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • May 04, 2020 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Quick update...

    Last Wednesday, Governor DeSantis announced his Plan for Florida's Recovery - Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. In Phase One, effective today, restaurants and retail establishments may open at 25% capacity. There is also a provision for libraries and "local public museums" to open with limited capacity. The Executive Order can be read here.

    Since that announcement on Wednesday, the Governor amended the Phase One plan two days later, by also opening Florida's State Parks, effective today.

    The FAA has developed a foundation for reopening Florida's attractions. With the primary focus on safety, our Best Practice Considerations provides an industry-wide route which requires each attraction to adopt CDC and OSHA guidance at that point in time and as well as social distancing appropriate for the current phase of reopening.  

    The FAA Plan is dynamic, and changes as official government guidance is updated to reflect changes in the pandemic metrics (i.e.: Phase One, Phase Two, Phase Three).

    The FAA is working on several fronts to advocate for the reopening of Florida's attractions. This could be achieved if Governor DeSantis were to further amend Florida's Phase One or move into Phase Two. Obviously, the opening of "local public museums", while commendable, is not sufficient as we recognize many of our members could open at 25% capacity and achieve similar, if not even greater social distancing objectives.

    Call to action...

    Please help us with our efforts on your behalf by contacting your Florida State Senator and Representative today and ask for their support in advocating for your business and our industry with Governor DeSantis' office. Ask the Governor to allow our attractions industry to begin the recovery of our tourism economy and provide the opportunity for our guests to experience the wonder and create the memories that make Florida's world-class attractions the driver of visitation to the Sunshine State..

    Once the Governor makes the determination to allow our attractions to reopen, each of our members must make the decision of how and when to reopen. We believe you know how to best achieve that objective for your attraction based on a multitude of criteria that you will consider in determining the most prudent course for your business.

    If you have any questions or receive any feedback, please contact me at your convenience.

    Thank you,

    Bill Lupfer
    President & CEO
    Florida Attractions Association


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