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California Theme Parks Pushing Back Against Newsom Over Coronavirus Reopening Rules

ANAHEIM (CBSLA) -- California theme parks are considering legal action to reopen and get their employees back to work in response to a new wave of closures.

Guidelines issued by the state would prevent reopening until likely next summer.

"The guidelines from the governor is grossly inconsistent with guidelines given to other industries and lacks any scientific basis," said Kurt Stocks, Legoland President. "We just want the administration to treat us the same as industries that are very similar in nature."

RELATED: 'Worst Possible Outcome': Theme Park Enthusiasts Blast California's Reopening Guidelines

In a Zoom meeting, the heads of Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Legoland aired their frustrations with business restrictions that emerged because of the pandemic.

They accuse the state of being disingenuous when saying that state leaders collaborated with the parks on new guidelines.

"This pandemic is a much broader health crisis," said Ken Potrock, Disneyland Resort President. "Anxiety and joblessness is a gigantic toll on individuals. It begins to affect things as dire as suicide rates."

Potrock argues that related businesses have seen detrimental impacts of these closures and the uncertainty about when operations will return to normal are causing a strain.

"Not just our cast members and employees, but the small businesses that were generational businesses that have not been able to reopen and are terrified that their businesses that were created by their grandparents are no longer going to be viable going forward," Potrock said.

Potrock's statements reflect sentiments expressed by local business leaders who are experiencing unexpected financial burdens.

"Maybe in another three, four months, we will lose everything we worked hard for," said restaurant manager Costa Gonzales. "It's very bad news."

Theme park officials have called on Governor Gavin Newsom to revise the newly issued guidelines and allow them to reopen in Tier 3 of the state's four-tier coronavirus monitoring system, rather than Tier 4.

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