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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego Event Coalition gains more allies in push to reopen events

The San Diego Tourism Authority is also asking the Governor for event guidelines on reopening.

SAN DIEGO — The Tourism Authority in San Diego says it’s joining the fight to get events and venues back open for business. 

For months, the San Diego Event Coalition has been pushing to get reopening guidelines from the State, but it hasn’t happened yet, even while theme parks and other large venues were given guidelines to reopen last week.

The San Diego Event Coalition says its industry has been devastated because of State regulations but people are already gathering at places like farmers markets and swap meets. They say now it’s time for the State to create some guidelines that’ll allow all events to resume in some capacity.

“You’re allowing events to happen, they’re just not called events,” said Laurel McFarlane, San Diego Event Coalition President.

The San Diego Event Coalition is a group of businesses and event planners whose entire livelihood is based on bringing people together. Last week, the Coalition placed billboards around San Diego to spread more awareness about how the event industry has been devastated. McFarlane says the coalition just wants pandemic guidelines that’ll allow them to hold events and conferences, even on a smaller scale.

“Give us a hundred people. We’re not asking for festivals we’re not asking for Coachella. We’re not asking for all of those to come back. But we’re going on a year right now, of absolutely zero guidance,” McFarlane said. 

The San Diego Tourism Authority is also joining the call for guidelines on reopening events. The Tourism Authority sent a letter signed by over a hundred organizations to Governor Newsom, pleading for the State to help agencies whose entire budget may depend on fundraising events.

“I went from running a nearly $4 million organization to a $700,000 organization overnight. That one fundraiser that we have is what pays for all of our fundraising throughout the year,” said Fernando Lopez, San Diego Pride Executive Director. 

Lopez says the San Diego Pride Fest pays for employee salaries and grant programs. He says he supports Newsom trying to keep people safe, but he also wants the State to create a pathway for people to gather again.

The San Diego Tourism Authority says that California is losing over four billion dollars a month because it’s not hosting events and conferences. Although the number of COVID-19 cases has decreased, we are still in the purple tier here in San Diego County.

WATCH: Live entertainment returns to San Diego County: