- Longtime downtown Cape bartender Marcellus Jones remembered by friends (6/12/18)2
- Stormy Daniels to visit East Cape Girardeau (6/13/18)20
- Peter Kinder resigns federal agency post, concludes position unnecessary and waste of tax dollars (6/16/18)1
- Singer Neal Boyd dies after struggle with health issues (6/12/18)1
- Cape man charged with stabbing, killing dog for revenge (6/8/18)9
- Feeding deer in Bollinger, Cape and Perry counties prohibited soon to help curb spread of CWD (6/13/18)7
- Couple charged in beating death at Brick's (6/13/18)
- 'All Nite Skate' filming in Jackson this weekend (6/8/18)
- New Zaxby's restaurant open in Cape (6/13/18)3
- New urban dance studio opens on Broadway (6/15/18)2
Terrorist attacks heap costs on nation's theme parks
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Security guards stationed at two rows of tables at the Magic Kingdom entrance stop guests and search their bags before the visitors can pass through the turnstiles and head down Main Street, U.S.A.
The guards, added following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, do more than provide extra security at the Walt Disney World theme park. They're also increasing Disney's costs.
The theme park industry is finding that the attacks will cost them tens of millions of dollars in added security, higher insurance premiums and extra advertising and discounts to lure back visitors who are nervous about traveling. The higher expenses come at a time when the theme parks can least afford them -- many are experiencing attendance dips, job cuts and an uncertain short-term future.
"They're definitely going to have a higher cost of doing business," said Steve Baker, president of Baker Leisure Group, an Orlando-based theme park consulting firm.
Almost every theme park will likely spend thousands of dollars extra on advertising or running promotional discounts in hopes of reversing a drop in business that followed the attacks. Busch Gardens and Sea World theme parks are giving free admission to police officers, firefighters and emergency workers for the rest of the year.
Theme park visitors, who already are paying $50 a head to get into the most expensive parks, will be the ones who most likely absorb the extra costs.
"I think you can pass some of those costs on," said recreation economics consultant Harrison Price.