SeaWorld Moves to Lay off Furloughed Employees

September 4, 2020, 6:45 PM · SeaWorld Entertainment is laying off an undisclosed number of its furloughed employees, the company announced today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Due to the sudden and unforeseeable economic impacts of the pandemic on the Company’s business operations, that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the temporary furlough, the Company has determined that it will transition certain park and corporate personnel from a furloughed status to a permanent layoff," SeaWorld's 8-K filing said. "As a result, the Company expects to record approximately $2.5 million to $3.0 million of restructuring and related charges in the third quarter of 2020 related to employee severance costs."

The company then issued a statement to the press that said, in part, "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."

SeaWorld Entertainment includes not just the SeaWorld theme parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, but also the Busch Gardens theme parks in Tampa and Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as associated water parks at those facilities and the Sesame Place theme park in Pennsylvania. Its Orlando, Tampa and San Antonio parks are open, though its California and Virginia parks are operating on limited basis.

Replies (2)

September 6, 2020 at 3:16 PM

I wish they wouldn’t use “ambassadors” but I get it they mean animal ambassadors. Employees, staff, management, corporate are relevant terms to every business. Ambassador sounds contrived to make it feel better that they have animals under their care but most rational people already know they are great caretakers anyway

September 8, 2020 at 7:48 AM

@Tiptop - All SWE employees are called "Ambassadors" just as all Disney park employees are called "Cast Members". It's not just those that work with animals - those personnel are called "Animal Ambassadors".

This is a frequent refrain heard around the world right now, particularly at businesses in the travel and tourism industry. Unfortunately, how the government set up the terms for the PPP, businesses that took bailout funds had until the end of September to hold onto employees before they could jettison them in favor of smaller/leaner operations. If not for the PPP, many of these employees would have been let go months ago.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Get News, Discounts