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Disney scraps US$1bn Florida campus amidst DeSantis feud

Disney has scrapped plans for a US$1bn corporate campus in Lake Nono, Florida, as the company’s public feud with Florida governor Ron DeSantis continues




Disney has scrapped plans for a US$1bn corporate campus in Florida amid its ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis   Credit: Disney

Disney has scrapped plans to build a new US$1bn (€930m, £806m) corporate campus in Lake Nono, Florida, amid its ongoing feud with the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

The project, which would have seen 2,000 Disney employees relocate to the state, has been pulled due to “new leadership and changing business conditions”, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, we have decided not to move forward with construction of the campus,” wrote Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, in an internal memo to staff.

“This was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is the right one. As a result, we will no longer be asking our employees to relocate.”

While DeSantis was not named explicitly in the memo, it’s likely that the move is a direct result of the ongoing feud between the entertainment giant and the Florida governor.

DeSantis’ office described the move as “unsurprising” and attributed the abrupt change to the “company’s financial straits, falling market cap and declining stock price”.

California’s Democrat governor Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, supported Disney’s decision, saying: “Authoritarian policies have consequences. This announcement is a victory for California, and the tens of thousands of Disney employees who know they can live in a state where they are respected and safe.”

The battle between governor Ron DeSantis and Disney has been ongoing since March 2022   CREDIT: REUTERS


The feud between Disney and DeSantis began in March 2022, after the company suspended political donations in Florida following public pressure in response to the state’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which prevents teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ people and issues in schools.

Since then the feud has seen Disney and DeSantis file lawsuits against each other after DeSantis took control of Disney World’s special governing district. In response, Disney invoked the Royal Lives Clause to strip the DeSantis-appointed board of its powers.

In a shareholders meeting in April, Iger decried DeSantis’s actions as “anti-business” before revealing a 10-year-plan that will see the company invest more than US$17bn (€15.3bn, £13.5bn) in the Orlando-based resort.

“I remain optimistic about the direction of our Walt Disney World business. We have plans to invest US$17bn (€15.3bn, £13.5bn) and create 13,000 jobs over the next 10 years. I hope we’re able to do so.” D’Amaro added.


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Disney scraps US$1bn Florida campus amidst DeSantis feud | Planet Attractions
news

Disney scraps US$1bn Florida campus amidst DeSantis feud

Disney has scrapped plans for a US$1bn corporate campus in Lake Nono, Florida, as the company’s public feud with Florida governor Ron DeSantis continues




Disney has scrapped plans for a US$1bn corporate campus in Florida amid its ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis   Credit: Disney

Disney has scrapped plans to build a new US$1bn (€930m, £806m) corporate campus in Lake Nono, Florida, amid its ongoing feud with the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

The project, which would have seen 2,000 Disney employees relocate to the state, has been pulled due to “new leadership and changing business conditions”, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, we have decided not to move forward with construction of the campus,” wrote Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, in an internal memo to staff.

“This was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is the right one. As a result, we will no longer be asking our employees to relocate.”

While DeSantis was not named explicitly in the memo, it’s likely that the move is a direct result of the ongoing feud between the entertainment giant and the Florida governor.

DeSantis’ office described the move as “unsurprising” and attributed the abrupt change to the “company’s financial straits, falling market cap and declining stock price”.

California’s Democrat governor Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, supported Disney’s decision, saying: “Authoritarian policies have consequences. This announcement is a victory for California, and the tens of thousands of Disney employees who know they can live in a state where they are respected and safe.”

The battle between governor Ron DeSantis and Disney has been ongoing since March 2022   CREDIT: REUTERS


The feud between Disney and DeSantis began in March 2022, after the company suspended political donations in Florida following public pressure in response to the state’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which prevents teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ people and issues in schools.

Since then the feud has seen Disney and DeSantis file lawsuits against each other after DeSantis took control of Disney World’s special governing district. In response, Disney invoked the Royal Lives Clause to strip the DeSantis-appointed board of its powers.

In a shareholders meeting in April, Iger decried DeSantis’s actions as “anti-business” before revealing a 10-year-plan that will see the company invest more than US$17bn (€15.3bn, £13.5bn) in the Orlando-based resort.

“I remain optimistic about the direction of our Walt Disney World business. We have plans to invest US$17bn (€15.3bn, £13.5bn) and create 13,000 jobs over the next 10 years. I hope we’re able to do so.” D’Amaro added.


 



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