Wizards to Make Some Tourism Magic in Los Angeles

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Millions of Muggles will be coming to Los Angeles to visit Hogwarts and they won’t need to take a special train from platform nine and three-quarters for wizards only. Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts announced today a partnership that will bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood and create a major new tourist attraction for Los Angeles and Southern California.

The new Harry Potter theme area will be part of NBCUniversal’s Evolution Plan, which is currently responding to public comments as part of its Environmental Impact Report. The 391-acre live-work campus community will be a huge job producer and with today’s announcement, it will be even more successful in drawing tourists from all over the world. The entire Evolution Plan will create 31,000 construction jobs and 12,000 new permanent jobs and is estimated to deliver $26 million in tax revenues each year.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter debuted in Orlando in June 2010 and immediately captured global attention. The Hollywood version will be equally impressive and is expected to transform tourism in Los Angeles for years to come. It will be a fully immersive entertainment experience for the entire family that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life and is faithful to the visual landscape of the films, including a majestic Hogwarts castle, Hogsmeade and multiple themed areas from J.K. Rowling’s books.

Los Angeles is fortunate to be the home of Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal, and even more fortunate that these two long-standing Hollywood icons and their parent companies Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Company have committed to making this investment as part of the economic vitality of Southern California.

The Ministry of Magic — wait; make that the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — still need to approve the NBCUniversal Evolution Plan after the Environmental Impact Report is completed.  Let’s hope that no spells or magic wands are needed to gain approval.

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