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SeaWorld lays off nearly 2,000 workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic

As Central Florida theme parks struggle with cut capacity and lost revenue, SeaWorld officials have made the decision to lay off 1,896 employees.

The layoffs impact numerous departments and titles, including 455 foodservice attendants, 272 park operations hosts and hostesses, 121 performers, 123 sales clerks, and 111 waiters and waitresses.

SeaWorld Orlando park president Kyle Miller filed notice about the widespread layoffs on Sept. 4.

“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.