ORLANDO, Fla. — Nearly 1,900 furloughed employees with SeaWorld parks in Orlando will be laid off.
That's according to a WARN notice filed with the state of Florida. The permanent layoffs include 1,896 employees across SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica and SeaWorld Entertainment's corporate office.
The notice comes more than a week after the company said it would permanently lay off some of its furloughed employees.
SeaWorld spokeswoman Lori Cherry sent the following statement:
“The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on each of our lives, in ways both small and profound. The same is true for the travel, tourism, entertainment, and hospitality industries, and the operations of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.
While we were able to bring thousands of furloughed Ambassadors back to work and hoped to bring back everyone, the current environment requires us to setup the company for long term success. SeaWorld has determined that it must transition certain park and corporate personnel from a furloughed status to a permanent layoff.
We deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication of our Ambassadors to our company’s shared mission, values, and goals. Over our 60-year history, our parks have inspired millions of guests to love, protect and care for our planet’s animals and their habitats. We are sorry to have to part ways with any team members in this difficult moment, but their abiding commitment to our guests, fellow Ambassadors and animals is recognized and made a lasting impact.”
Cherry said earlier this month that permanent layoffs would impact some employees at Busch Gardens in Tampa, but the recent notice to the state specified only the parks and corporate office in Orlando.
In its last quarterly earnings call, SeaWorld Entertainment said revenue and attendance had dropped 96 percent compared with the same period last year. The biggest hits came in April, May and June -- the months the company's theme parks were mostly closed because of the pandemic.
During those three months, the company said it had a net loss of $131 million across its 12 parks. SeaWorld Entertainment also said any rides under construction now have delayed openings until 2021.
SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reopened June 10 with new health and safety protocols, including face masks mandates and social distancing guidance.
Recently, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens said they would continue hosting Halloween and holiday events, including Howl-O-Scream in Tampa, but with reduced capacity and no haunted houses.
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