SeaWorld to furlough more than 90% of employees due to coronavirus pandemic

Video: SeaWorld to furlough more than 90% of employees due to coronavirus pandemic

SeaWorld is indefinitely furloughing more than 90% of its workforce, leaving thousands of its employees without pay, the company announced Friday in a securities and exchange commission filing.

In an statement by SeaWorld Entertainment, the company said: “The current pandemic has impacted our business significantly. Our parks will remain closed and are unable to generate revenue; therefore, we have made the painful but necessary business decision.”

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Furlough does not mean laid off, however -- furloughs are temporary and are used to retain staff the company wants to keep, but can’t afford to pay.

The securities and exchange commission filing said, “The furlough period is uncertain at this time due to the temporary park closures and will be reassessed as business conditions dictate.”

SeaWorld is encouraging all employees to apply for unemployment benefits. A re-open date has not been set yet.

“During this time, our focus is on resuming normal operations and welcoming back guests and Ambassadors as quickly as possible," said in a prepared statement.

SeaWorld Entertainment also operates the parks in San Diego and San Antonio, as well as Busch Gardens parks in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg.