PNE/Playland predicts gross loss of $52 million due to COVID-19 shutdown

A visit to PNE/Playland is a summer staple for many in B.C., but due to the novel coronavirus this year, the fair gates will remain closed.

As a result, the event is projected to lose up to $52 million in gross revenue, according to spokesperson Laura Ballance, while net revenue losses could reach $10 million depending on when the PNE might resume operation.

In mid-April, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said physical-distancing measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 will remain throughout the summer, and that organizers of large outdoor events should think about alternatives.

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“We do not have enough herd immunity to protect everybody and allow that type of event to happen,” Henry said. “Large parades, large mass gatherings where we all come together — those will not be happening this summer.”

Last month, the federal government introduced a $73-billion wage subsidy program to cover 75 per cent of wages for employers that have seen sharp declines in revenue since the pandemic.

The program makes up half the roughly $145 billion in federal spending on COVID-19 countermeasures, and will cause a ripple of changes for the millions of workers who have either lost their jobs or had their hours slashed due to the crisis.

-With files from The Canadian Press

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