SeaWorld announces 320-layoffs across its 12 American theme parks

CW6 is told 60-of those layoffs are happening at SeaWorld in San Diego

Shockwaves at SeaWorld theme parks across the country as the company announces hundreds of layoffs. 320-people in the company’s 12-American theme parks will soon be out of a job, just weeks before the Christmas holiday, and it’s not the first time the company has laid off people during the holiday season.

Local SeaWorld management won’t, or more precisely probably isn’t being allowed to confirm it, but CW6 is told by an employee at the park that 60-people here are losing their jobs, and it’s not the first time this has happened. In 2010, the company cut 350-jobs due to the sluggish economy, 80-of those were reported to be here in San Diego.

Then in 2013 came an even more severe and long-lasting blow. The movie Blackfish premiered, telling the story about the battering and drowning of SeaWorld Orlando Orca Trainer Dawn Brancheau. Attendance at the parks sank, and in December of 2014 there were more layoffs. The parks never bounced back.

“This is a result of the theme park attendance not recovering to the point that they expected they would reach,” San Diego State business lecturer Wendy Patrick, Ph.D told CW6. She called if the “Blackfish backlash.”

“When you see a company that isn’t able to recapture that kind of financial momentum, people worry that more cuts are looming on the horizon and that has been the worry over the last couple of years,” Patrick said.

A worry that is now a reality. Again, SeaWorld isn’t confirming it, but we’re told of the 60-people losing their jobs here, half of them, 30-people are in the park’s zoological department, the department that cares for the animals. We’re also told the park’s paint shop is being cut entirely. To make it all even worse, we understand some of those being laid off have been with SeaWorld for decades. Though some might say you can’t cut your way to profitability, Patrick said SeaWorld probably had no other choice. “Hopefully this will be something, the restructuring effort that will preclude the necessity of having to lay off even more people in the future.” A sad day at one of the most iconic places in America’s Finest City.

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