ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Orlando has laid off more workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the tourism industry.
What You Need To Know
- Universal Orlando has laid off more workers
- News comes after parks division reported 94% revenue loss
- Projects such as Epic Universe remain on "pause" for now
- Tourism industry dealing with uncertainty due to pandemic
“We have again made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce to reflect current priorities and needs,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said in an email to Spectrum News 13 on Friday. “As always, we are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this decision and their families.”
Schroder added that Universal will provide those workers with severance pay, subsidized health benefits, and reemployment assistance.
News of the layoffs comes a day after Universal’s parent company, Comcast, released its second quarter earnings results, which revealed the parks division had taken a major financial hit due to coronavirus-related closures. Universal parks revenue plummeted 94 percent in the quarter, with the division generating $87 million, down significantly from the nearly $1.5 billion it generated during the same period last year.
Universal Orlando’s parks closed in mid-March and reopened in early June with certain restrictions in place. However, even though the parks are open, Universal is making adjustments to operations as it deals with the effects of the pandemic.
“We are prioritizing daily operations and shorter-term projects and continuing our pause on longer-term projects such as Epic Universe as we allow the tourism industry to recover,” Schroder said in the statement.
Construction on the project was delayed back in April shortly after the shutdowns. On Thursday, Comcast executives confirmed the development on the new park was still delayed, with plans to resume when “the future becomes more certain.”
Universal wouldn’t say how many people were laid off Friday, and, when asked, wouldn’t say whether the layoffs were related to Epic Universe being put on hold indefinitely.
Prior to this round of layoffs, Universal announced it was canceling this year's popular Halloween Horror Nights event due to the pandemic. In June, Universal laid off a number of workers across its resort, but again, would not say how many.