Disney Government Relations Case Study

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Case Study: Disney’s America Theme Park 1. From a government relations perspective, key issues that Eisner must consider include the following: a. Support and opposition for the project was bipartisan. Debate among the House, Senate, and Governor largely focused on financial matters, including how budget resources were to be allocated for road construction. b. Opposition focused mainly on Disney’s choice of the Manassas site, and not the issue of whether the theme-park should come to Virginia. Responding to Disney and Allen’s projections of job creation, opponents argued that employment was already low in northern Virginia relative to the rest of the state. c. Activists with different reasons for opposing Disney’s America united behind the single, common cause of fighting suburban sprawl. The defeat of a developer’s plans to construct a shopping mall in the 1980s was testament to their grassroots capabilities. d. The Piedmont Environmental Council spearheaded efforts to protect the site from development. e. The Manassas Battlefield Park had long been a point of controversy involving those who wish to preserve its historic integrity. Preservationists in the 1980s were already successful in preventing the development of a similar Marriott Co. theme-park near Manassas. f. Vocal opponents included prominent historians, namely David McCullough (a Pulitzer Prize winning biographer and narrator of a public television series on the Civil War), Shelby Foote (a Civil War scholar), and members of the American Historical and Southern Historical Associations. The above reveals the number of business, community activist, and political stakeholders involved in this this project, and the necessity for Disney to develop relationships with all parties represented. In evaluating all the perspectives represented, this project would be a

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