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article imageOp-Ed: Destination L.A. Harbor - New Home Port for Disney Wonder Liner

By Sandy Sand     Mar 31, 2009 in Business
Hoping to stimulate Southern California’s sagging economy, Los Angeles city officials reached a two-year agreement to relocate the Disney Wonder liner to the Port of Los Angeles, with an option to renew for another three years.
The move is set for 2011 in the hope of reviving the area’s flagging hospitality industry, and infuse the local economy with $7 million in annual tax revenues.
Although Disney officials did not announce an itinerary for the 83,000-ton ship, they estimated:
…that as many as 50,000 passengers will travel aboard the family-themed ship each year, visiting Disneyland and seeing other sights in Southern California.
The contract is expected to be ratified on Thursday by the Los Angeles Harbor Commission.
Geraldine Knatz, Port of L.A. spokeswoman said:
"Any kind of tourist activity creates many jobs to support."
Now based in Florida, Knatz estimated that half the jobs created by the move of the Disney Wonder to L.A. will go to residents of San Pedro, Wilmington and other harbor-area cities, south of downtown Los Angeles.
Reasons why it will take this deal won't take place for a full 21 months were not stated, but a good guess is that there are contractual obligations that remain to be met with the Disney Wonder's home port still being in Florida.
A nearly two year wait will do nothing to help revive L.A.'s economy and deficits despite L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s spinning, spewing hot air and bloviating, “The path to recovery sets sail in Los Angeles," at the Monday announcement of the deal.
Los Angeles needs jobs now; there are too many who can’t wait nearly two years.
The only thing that got inflated at yesterday press conference was the mayor’s ego, because it gave him the opportunity for another photo op where he could strut his stuff in front of the cameras, something he is infamously famous for, besides spending a mere 11 percent of his time in town to tend to city business.
By the time the first passenger steps foot on the Disney Wonder, the S.S. Los Angeles may have already sunk in financial oblivion.
Since many cruises leaving the Port of L.A. head to Mexico, the question is has Disney Cruise Lines considered that in two years there may not be a Mexico; all the dire reports coming out of the area estimate that the country will implode and its government will collapse long before then due to the wars being waged by the drug cartels.
If Disney is going to make a go of this, they would be wise to have contingency plans to have three-day cruises for the short hop to Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California, five-day cruises to drop passengers off in Hawaii, and longer excursions to Alaska, a popular destination for summer sailing adventures.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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