BREAKING NEWS: 800+ Universal Resort Employees Are Being Let Go
News has just come in from the Orlando Sentinel that Universal Orlando, still struggling to regain its footing after the COVID-19 shutdown will be letting roughly 840 employees go. Some of the employees were indefinitely furloughed while others were permanently terminated according to the Sentinel report.
The cuts were made across three of Universals hotels: Hard Rock Hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
Universal spokeswoman Jennifer Hodges said, “Unfortunately, the global pandemic surrounding COVID-19 has forced Loews Hotels & Co to make some difficult decisions as it relates to our workforce. Team Members are the backbone of our company and rest assured, these measures were not taken lightly.”
If you’ve been following along with Universal Parks Blog then you’ll know that this isn’t the first sign that Universal Orlando is struggling as consumer confidence has yet to return in the hospitality industry. Earlier this Summer, Loews shut down two of its Orlando hotels, Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel. In addition, Universal also announced last week that they will keep their Volcano Bay water park closed 2 days a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)
Shawn German Loews’ regional Human Resource director said the jobs included room attendants, restaurant serves and others. He added, “Initially, we believed that the pandemic was going to impact our business at the hotel for a short temporary period. Indeed, we had begun to recall some furloughed employees in anticipation of returning to more levels of business we believed the pandemic had begun to abate.” However, the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida coupled with imposed quarantines from those out-of-state had a massive impact on attendance. German added, “Both of these circumstances have now caused a sudden, dramatic and unexpected reversal in bookings which now makes it clear that the demand for travel, events and hospitality services will take longer than previously anticipated.”
This is a story we’ll continue to follow closely here at Universal Parks Blog. You can also find the Orlando Sentinel in its entirety here.