Universal Studios Orlando has laid off some employees just two weeks after reopening. The cuts come in the parks and resorts division along with multiple other facets of the business. For those in the area, Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay all reopened at the beginning of the month. NBC News received a statement from Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder about the layoffs. It would seem that Comcast has hit a bit of a rut with regards to their response to the coronavirus pandemic. When they reported their first-quarter earnings in April, theme park revenue had gone down 31.9% due to the shutdowns. Across the industry, workers are being furloughed at large rates, and some are not receiving compensation during their stints away from the job. Many decision-makers hope that restarting things will help reverse trends, but this latest news is a bit dire.
"We have made the difficult decision to reduce our Parks & Resorts workforce across multiple locations and business units,” Schroder explained in a statement. “This decision was not made lightly, but was necessary to prepare us for the future.”
Universal City Walk opened earlier this year in May as a part of Universal Studios Florida’s staggered reopening. As the plan to jump start the industry began, the park determined that there was an “inherent risk of exposure” to COVID-19 by nature of being around so many people. The warning read, ”Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit.” This warning read much the same as Walt Disney World's cautions around reopening Disney Springs.
Back when City Walk reopened, Universal put out this statement:
"We will begin limited operation of select venues at Universal Orlando's CityWalk on Thursday, May 14 as we take the first steps toward reopening our destination," it read. "The health and safety of our guests and team members remains our top priority and we are taking specific measures that include screening our guests and team members, social distancing and requiring everyone to wear a face covering. We will also be limiting capacity at venues and increasing our already-aggressive cleaning and disinfection procedures. Select venues are scheduled to open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m."
How do you feel about all the theme parks reopening this year? Let us know in the comments!