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Universal Orlando hotels say more than 800 employees will lose jobs

Florida's theme park industry continues to take financial hits because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit: Universal Orlando

Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort have announced that more than 800 employees will be losing their jobs as the theme park industry continues to be devastated by the pandemic. 

A notice filed by the company Loews Hotels & Co. said the employees at Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort were indefinitely furloughed or permanently terminated. 

A company director said in a letter to the state that the surge of confirmed cases in late June and July and other states’ decisions to order Florida travelers to quarantine had caused a “sudden, dramatic and unexpected reversal in bookings.”  

Earlier in August, Universal said its fourth theme park -- Epic Universe -- is on hold indefinitely with more layoffs expected. Construction had already started and in April the company said the opening date was pushed to 2023.

Universal has already gone through two rounds of layoffs because of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, even after reopening in mid-June.

The theme park also canceled one of its big-ticket events this year because of the pandemic. Halloween Horror Nights, which was supposed to celebrate 30 years in 2020, will return in 2021.

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