In the Wake of Coronavirus Shutdowns and a 90% Revenue Loss as a Result, Universal Confirms Massive Layoffs to Their Workforce.
Universal Orlando Resort announced Friday they laid off an undisclosed number of workers. This announcement came a day after Universal’s parent company revealed massive profit loss during quarterly earnigs report. The news follows coronavirus shutdowns.
Universal is owned by NBCUniversal, which falls under media giant Comcast Corp. Thursday’s release of the second-quarter earnings showed Universal parks’ revenue fell 94% from nearly $1.5 billion in 2019 to $87 million.
Universal did not disclose exactly how many people were laid off or specify which deparments. This is the second round of lay-offs in recent months from the company. They also laid off a number of workers in June.
Universal spokesman Tom Schroder disclosed via email that those employees who are being laid off will receive severance pay, subsidized health benefits and reemployment assistance.
“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’s statement said. “We have again made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce to reflect current priorities and needs. As always, we are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this.”
The “financial impact has been most significant and immediate and the operational challenge the most daunting” for theme parks during the coronavirus pandemic, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell told investors Thursday during an earnings call.
Executives reiterated Thursday that Universal’s Epic Universe, the third theme park in Orlando, has paused construction without a restarting date during the economic uncertainty.
Before the pandemic, Universal Orlando Resort employed about 25,000 employees.
“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.”
Just last week, Universal made the disappointing announcement that one of their major money making events, Halloween Horror Nights be would be canceled for 2020.
Sea World and Disney have yet to release their latest quarterly earnings but will both do so in the next couple weeks.
Schroder added, “We continue to have confidence in the long term future of our business, our industry and our community.”
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available right here at For the Love of the Mouse.