ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of employees at Universal Orlando Resort hotels will remain furloughed or, in some cases, permanently laid off, as the tourism industry in Florida continues to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- Temporary and permanently layoffs announced for Universal hotels
- Loews Hotels & Co filed notices with the state for some of its hotels
- The decision is expected to affect about 1,150 jobs
- The Florida tourism industry continues to deal with impact of pandemic
Loews Hotels & Co, which operates several hotels at Universal Orlando, has notified the state of Florida of the temporary and permanent layoffs, which is expected to affect about 1,150 jobs, including bar servers, cooks, chefs, receptionists, and room attendants.
The company filed notices last week for Loews Portofino Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
"Unfortunately, the global pandemic surrounding COVID-19 has forced Loews Hotels & Co to make some difficult decisions as it relates to our workforce," spokeswoman Jennifer Hodges said in a statement to Spectrum News. "Team members are the backbone of our company and rest assured, these measures were not taken lightly."
Hodges added that Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort, and Cabana Bay remain open.
The news of these layoffs come just weeks after Loews temporarily closed two other Universal Orlando hotels — Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel — on August 21.
Universal Orlando also laid off workers at its parks due to the ongoing pandemic.
In June, the resort laid off an undisclosed number of workers across its parks. The following month, another undisclosed number of employees were laid off, including some who were working on the now-paused Epic Universe project.
Universal also recently temporarily closed some of its attractions.
Meanwhile, other Orlando-area theme parks are facing similar challenges.
Disney World has yet to recall thousands of furloughed employees as its parks and hotels operate in a limited capacity. Also, starting September 8, the parks will be reducing their operating hours.
SeaWorld Orlando has also not brought back all of its workers, although it is temporarily returning to a seven-day-a-week operating schedule.