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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2016-1787: Movie Theater Location In Tourist “Mecca” Not Sufficient for Tourism Designation

The following is an Appeal Panel Decision issued pursuant to Section 6 of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Rules Governing the BP Appeals Process. Links may have been added to assist the reader. The original decision may be found here, as well as a glossary of BP Settlement terms.

Claimant is a non-profit educational and cultural film program and community center located in Key West, Florida, Zone A. It is basically a movie theater and community center. BP appeals the Administrator’s designation of Claimant as a tourism industry. BP argues the Claimant is at most doing business “incidental” to tourism as numerous Appeal Panels have described other Claimants that did not receive the designation.
BP points out Claimant uses a NAICS code 512131 (Motion Picture Theaters), a code that does not appear on the list of tourism businesses set out in Exhibit 2 of the Settlement Agreement. BP states that clearly it caters to locals even if tourists occasionally frequent it. The Claimant filed a schedule showing seasonal increase in sales
compared to its season ticket holders. The Claimant would have the panel accept the idea that all the increased ticket sale are from tourists and none were local. BP and this panel member cannot accept that assertion.
Many Appeal Panel decisions have reviewed these tourism designations and even if a Claimant is located in a “mecca” of tourism, the Claimant is not always entitled to the designation. The data submitted by the Claimant does not satisfy the requirement that a Claimant must be in a business that caters to the traveling public outside their home area. This Claimant is contributing to the cultural heritage of the community and has received a substantial award but it is not a tourism business. BP’s final proposal is closest to the correct award and is selected.

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