SeaWorld has announced the permanent layoffs of some of its currently furloughed employees. After financial reports showing a 96 percent drop in its revenue and attendance, SeaWorld Entertainment had to make the difficult decision that will affect many employees who were already not being paid since early in the pandemic and when they were furloughed.
The company made the announcement in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday afternoon, which was posted on SeaWorld’s investor relations website.
SeaWorld said the employees were furloughed as part of the company’s efforts to combat the financial hits brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent theme park closures. SeaWorld said the layoffs will impact certain park and corporate employees.
According to SeaWorld spokeswoman Lori Cherry, “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 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.”
SeaWorld’s biggest financial pressure arrived in April, May and June, when parks were mostly shuddered amid the pandemic, and has said it had a net loss of $131 million across its 12 parks.
SeaWorld Orlando originally reopened June 10 with a 5 day open schedule, followed by a 6th and a recent 7th day open schedule. Unlike Disney and Universal, SeaWorld has rebooted a number of its typical events, A Taste of Seven Seas, Electric Ocean Remix, Craft Beer Festival, and its Christmas Celebration – all bringing SeaWorld fans some hope that somehow they will navigate through the continued pandemic. The company also said any rides currently under construction now have delayed openings until 2021.