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Case 9-1: Disney’s America Theme Park: the Third Battle of Bull Run

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What are the key issues that Eisner must consider in this situation from a government relations perspective?

The key issues include the location of Eisner’s envisioned historical theme park. The state of Virginia is deeply filled with many events marked in American history such as the homes of four of the first five U.S. presidents, in addition to being the site of more than two-dozen civil war battlefields. Another key issue was the commotion and traffic that this theme park would create. As visitors will travel from many places to visit Disney America, Disney would have to predict when the highway will be most at traffic while putting in mind that many residents of Virginia use this highway, knowing it is already very crowded most of the time. Another major side effect of this traffic would be the heavily increased air pollution. When Disney confirmed that they would build the park in Prince William County, the biggest key issue of all arose: opposition. Many people were alarmed and concerned that this project would destroy many of America’s national marks of history and would be replaced by a theme park full of amusement. Many people did not have faith that Disney would be able to portray a full and clear, understandable image of American History, seeing as their other parks specialize in amusement and entertainment. Another economic key issue that many anti-Disney groups were doubting, was the number of jobs Disney promised to give. One campaign that took place in hope to raise awareness and criticize the Disney America project claimed that the park would generate much fewer jobs than Disney had promised. Instead of the promised 19,000 well-paid jobs, there would only be approximately 6,300- adding that not all these jobs had good pay. They also accused the exaggerated tax rates that Disney and Governor George Allen were promising.

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