ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Orlando is back to full capacity after the coronavirus pandemic kept its gates shut for more than a year.
NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell shared the news during a recent communications conference, adding that the theme park has avoided outbreaks and reopened in a safe manner.
“The theme park business is coming back a lot faster than we had anticipated and expected," Shell said.
He noted that the Orlando parks have seen 11 million people, as of last month, come through Universal since reopening.
Universal Orlando recently announced it will be increasing its starting base rate to $15 an hour. It's an effort Shell says was always planned but was fast-tracked to more rapidly attract employees back as "we've ramped up to full capacity."
After a year of uncertainty, Shell says they are seeing a surge of people who were pent-up in their homes wanting to get out and do things again. International visitation, which typically accounts for 20-30 percent of the theme park's capacity, has hit a rut, according to Shell.
Domestic visitation has not only kept the Florida theme park afloat but is meeting and surpassing capacity numbers Universal was producing in 2019.
“So very pleased with how the Theme Park in Orlando is doing -- the Theme Parks in Orlando are doing. And we really have no capacity constraints there anymore," Shell said.
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