Florida Attractions News

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

  • May 15, 2020 4:21 PM | Anonymous
    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

    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


  • April 07, 2020 10:09 AM | Anonymous
    Congratulations!
    The Florida Attractions Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors are pleased to announce 4 Scholarship Recipients for the 2020 Scholarship Program! Each recipient will be presented with a check for $2,000 from the Foundation to aid them in the pursuit of their college education.
    Kiara Miranda Berrios
    This is Kiara's second year receiving the FASF Scholarship! She is currently in her senior year at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida where she will graduate with a degree in Hospitality Management with a minor in Marketing. She is also working as a Travel Industry Sales Intern for Visit Orlando. Her career objective upon completing her degree is to work full-time with a DMO to help increase visitors to the great state of Florida by building relationships with national and international tour operators, wholesalers and retail travel agents.
    Alexandria Edwards
    A graduate of Stetson University with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, Alexandria is currently pursuing another degree through an online program with the University of Oklahoma in Museum Studies. She has worked at Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers since 2016 where she has held several positions and is now working as a Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator. Her love of history and her time at Edison and Ford is what inspired her to pursue her new degree, and her career objective is to move into a director or management role in either collections or museum administration.
    Sophie Gana
    Sophie has already acquired impressive credentials as a professional in the attractions industry. She is currently Supervisor of Attractions Operations at Universal Orlando Resort and is expecting to graduate in December with her Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. With a background in theater and theme park entertainment, her career objective is to work in other aspects of attractions management including events and music festivals. She has a passion for Halloween events and worked as a stage manager for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in Fall 2019. 
    Jonathan Tapanes
    Jonathan is working on his degree in Hospitality
    Management from the University of Central Florida while also working in the industry as an attractions attendant at Universal Orlando Resort. Having also worked as an operations intern at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, his career objective is to stay in the theme park and attractions industry upon graduation. He remains a useful contributor to the Universal Orlando team and is working on honing his leadership skills. Jonathan is also a Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholar, Eagle Scout, and volunteers with Give Kids the World.
    Thank you to everyone who applied. It was a tough decision for the Board, but great to see so many qualified future hospitality-superstars!

    Keep up the great work!

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • March 17, 2020 10:11 AM | Anonymous
    Bridge Loans | Economic Injury Disaster Loans | 
    Small Business and Non-profit Organizations
    As a service to our members, the FAA is providing information on 2 small business loan programs now available.

     
    1. Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans 
    (Florida Department of Economic Opportunity)

    Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. Non-profits are not eligible to apply for this program.

    The DEO will administer the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide cash flow to businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.

    The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program information is available here.
     


    2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans 
    (US Small Business Administration)

    Congress has passed, and the President has signed an aid package (Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    A component of this package will be low interest loans administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration to businesses impacted by the virus. An Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

    These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

    To begin, a county needs to be approved by the SBA for an Economic Loss Declaration, through a request submitted by the governor.

    Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida's local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin.
     


    For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at ESF18@em.myflorida.com

    For additional information on SBA programs, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • March 16, 2020 12:57 PM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 and Our Industry
    We know this virus is disrupting your normal business operations and we want to remain sensitive to our member's business needs over the next few weeks as COVID-19 runs its course.  In an effort to keep you and the traveling public informed on the status of other FAA member attractions, we have launched www.floridaattractions.org/virus .

    I encourage you to stay in touch with your industry colleagues, follow the advice of health officials, and protect your most valuable asset - your team members - the heart of Florida's attractions industry.  They'll need your encouragement and support as we move through these uncertain days.

    We're a resilient industry and as in the past, the tourism industry will lead Florida out of this economic downturn.  Your leadership will be essential to guiding us beyond this pandemic.

    Wishing you and your team safety and good health as we weather this storm and emerge stronger and united.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Johnson
    Chairman of the Board
    Florida Attractions Association
    Executive Director
    IMAG History & Science Center

    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • March 10, 2020 1:19 PM | Anonymous
    Every Wednesday
    10:00 AM to 10:30 AM

    Call-In Information

    Call-In Number: 888-585-9008
    Participant Code: 872-128-152


    Description
    This is a weekly conference call hosted by the Florida Department of Health to disseminate the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 to private sector and tourism partners in Florida. All private sector and tourism partners are invited to participate on the call. There will be an opportunity for questions as time permits.


    Standing Agenda
    • Situation Updates from the Florida Department of Health
    • Briefing from the Department of Economic Opportunity
    • Updates from other State Agencies
    • Questions from Partners

    Intended Audience

    This call is intended solely for the tourism and private sector partners in Florida. Other partners should relay any questions or concerns to their local county health department.


    Contact the Joint Information Center at JIC-Reports@em.myflorida.com for help with any technical issues with the Conference Call.

  • March 02, 2020 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    Click on the link below to view:

    Executive Order 20 51.pdf

  • February 18, 2020 9:30 AM | Anonymous
    Accepting Applicants for the 2020 Scholarship
    --- Apply by February 29 --- 
    Scholarships awarded by the Florida Attractions Scholarship Foundation are exclusively for employees or immediate family members of FAA member businesses! Eligible recipients must be enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution in Florida in Hospitality Management or other related field.


    For full criteria and to apply for consideration, visit:
     

    You can also print this 8.5 x 11 flyer to display for your employees at your business!

    The Foundation anticipates it will award a minimum of five, $2,000 scholarships in Spring 2020. Recipients will be invited to attend the 2020 Annual Conference in 
    St. Petersburg, June 14-17, to receive their scholarship. 

    Deadline for submissions is February 29, 2020.

     
    Copyright 2020 Florida Attractions Association
    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • January 30, 2020 12:34 PM | Anonymous
     Accepting Applications for the 2020 Scholarship
    During the Month of February
    Scholarships awarded by the Florida Attractions Scholarship Foundation are exclusively for employees or immediate family members of FAA member businesses! Eligible recipients must be enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution in Florida in Hospitality Management or other related field.


    For full criteria and to apply for consideration, visit:

    Application will open February 1!
     

    You can also print this 8.5 x 11 flyer to display for your employees at your business!

    The Foundation anticipates it will award a minimum of five, $2,000 scholarships in Spring 2020. Recipients will be invited to attend the 2020 Annual Conference in 
    St. Petersburg, June 14-17, to receive their scholarship. 

    Deadline for submissions is February 29, 2020.

     
    Copyright 2020 Florida Attractions Association
    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • October 08, 2019 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Dear FAA Members:

    We would like to take this opportunity to share with you some recent developments regarding burdensome and unnecessary state agency rules relating to amusement rides in Florida.

    As you know, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is the state agency responsible for conducting safety inspections for all amusement rides in Florida except for those parks with more than 1,000 employees. After first working to ensure legislation (SB 1788/HB 1267) introduced in the 2019 Legislative Session did not include additional regulations for our amusement ride owners and operators, rules have been recently developed by FDACS that could have potentially resulted in increased safety regulations and inspections, as well as requiring rides to post signs with verbiage on "loose hair and clothing".

    We are relieved that after several months of discussion and communication with the Bureau of Fair Rides staff at FDACS regarding the clear differentiation between permanent fixed rides and temporary rides that are frequently relocated, we were successful in avoiding these stronger and burdensome safety inspections regulations that should be non-applicable to fixed site amusement rides.

    The final proposed rule can be viewed here. Strikethrough is for language being removed and underline is for language being added.

    The final rule will be filed for adoption on October 9th and will then become effective on October 29th.

    Thank you again for your support of our advocacy to promote and protect tourism in Florida.


    Warm Regards,

    Bill Lupfer



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