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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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  • July 31, 2020 9:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Hurricane Isaias Update
    Dear FAA Members,

    Tonight, we face our state's latest calamity as Hurricane Isaias threatens Florida. If your attraction operation is altered by this storm, please contact the FAA Office and allow us to maintain our Attraction Status Page with your information. 

    This page is used by VISIT FLORIDA Official Welcome Centers, Florida Department of Transportation, State Emergency Response Team, and other state and local government agencies.

    You should also report your operating status and any special needs and circumstances with your County Emergency Management.

    The FAA is monitoring calls and emails this weekend and will respond to messages as requested. Please contact us if we can be of service.

    Stay safe,

    Bill

    FAA Office -  (850) 222-2885


  • June 26, 2020 3:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    2019-20 Board of Directors to
    Remain in Office
    Dear Fellow FAA Member,

    As a Voting Member I need to brief you on business actions your FAA Board of Directors has taken in response to the pandemic. As you know our Annual Conference, scheduled for June 14-17 in St. Petersburg was cancelled. This necessity led to some provisions of the FAA's bylaws impossible to implement. Specifically, assembling a Nominating Committee to develop a slate, conducting an Annual Meeting and the election of officers and directors.

    In my role as the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board, our bylaws stipulate that I also serve as Chairman of the Nominating Committee.

    Under our current circumstances making "business as usual" impossible, the Board passed a resolution suspending the provisions outlined above for one year. We will "freeze" our 2019-20 Officers and Directors for one year until we meet again for our 2021 Annual Conference and hold our Annual Meeting.

    This action was not taken for any reason other than to protect the collective interests of the Association through a continuity of leadership as we work together to rebuild our industry. I appreciate the Board's willingness to continue to provide their service to our Association as they, too, are engaged in rebuilding their own businesses.

    I'm happy to address this action in more detail and invite you to contact me if you have any questions or need further clarification.

    Wishing you, your family, colleagues, and staff a safe and healthy summer season,
     

    Rick Cain
    Director, Museum Services Division
    St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
    Immediate Past Chairman
    Florida Attraction Association



    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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  • June 15, 2020 1:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Someday, we will be together again.
    Our plans for the 2020 Annual Conference were put on hold as we sacrificed to keep our family, friends, and teams healthy and protected during our "safer-at-home" phase of the pandemic.   COVID-19 may be keeping the FAA family apart today, but vital work lies ahead as we earn the traveling public's trust in providing safe experiences at our member attractions.  

    We have witnessed numerous member-to-member contacts, sharing resources, intel, and best practices during these difficult weeks. Therein lies the power of the FAA. Together, enduring the pandemic. Together, reopening with enhanced operating procedures. Together, sharing hope, adventure, and magic with our guests. Together, rebuilding Florida's tourism economy. Together, roaring back.

    Together, when the time is right, FAA members will gather again.


    Florida Attractions Association, 1114 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303
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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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