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SeaWorld lays off nearly 1,900 workers due to COVID-19 pandemic

SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando (WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld has filed a notice with the state that nearly 1,900 employees who were previously furloughed due to the pandemic are now being laid off permanently.

The layoffs included 455 foodservice attendants, 272 park operations hosts and hostesses, 121 performers, 123 sales clerks, and 111 waiters and waitresses, among others.

Theme parks across the state have struggled to attract visitors over the last six months because of COVID-19 concerns.

The notice was sent Sept. 4, the effective date of the layoffs.

“Due to the sudden and unforeseeable economic impacts of the pandemic on our Florida business operations, that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the temporary furlough, SeaWorld has determined that it must transition certain park and corporate personnel from a furlough status to a permanent layoff,” Miller wrote.

SeaWorld closed its Orlando parks in mid-March when COVID-19 cases first started popping up in the region. In the aftermath of the closure, 90% of employees were furloughed beginning in April.

SeaWorld parks reopened in June with reduced capacity and other safety measures in place.