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SeaWorld to lay off 129 in Orlando

SeaWorld announced today that they will lay off 129 people in their Orlando theme parks. No word on which kind of employees, but one assumes salaried cuts provide the most bang for the buck.

Disney reported essentially flat attendance for the most recent quarter, while Universal reported attendance gains of 36%. This is undoubtedly the Potter effect. SeaWorld obviously struggled more than Disney in the face of Universal’s gain, but Disney should be cautious about resting on laurels. The competition seldom rolls over and goes away quietly.

What do you think Disney’s response to this economic environment should be? SeaWorld provides one answer (retrench and save money), while Universal goes another direction (build big, market big, and sell tons of toys).

More about SeaWorld’s layoffs at the Orlando Sentinel.

7 thoughts on “SeaWorld to lay off 129 in Orlando”

  1. The correct answer is now is the time to expand massively, labor and materials are cheap right now, the economy isn’t going to stay this way forever. Plus, if expansions are being done, that puts people to work designing, building and then running everything, which will help improve the economy. There won’t be a cheaper time to expand than now, so do it!

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  3. I’m with Chris on this one. When competition opens up across the street and becomes hugely successful, you don’t just sit quietly and watch them steal your business away. Disney’s being foolish if they think they can just keep resting on their laurels and expect nothing to change.

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  5. Disney has committed to its stockholders that it will be greatly reducing capital spending after 2014. That is when the announced projects will be completed. Considering the huge hacks to the budget for the Mystic Manor in Hong Kong, a park desperate for something big, I think we are seeing the next trend. Downward. Don’t forget, they also announced a raise in dividend payments and you have two guys fighting for Iger’s job who have built their reputation on cutting.

  6. These attendance results show that when you invest in the parks like Universal did with Harry Potter, the guests respond. What is not mentioned in this article is that while attendance is flat and most US Disney Parks, attendance was up substantially at Disney’s California adventure where DIsney is spending 1.3 billion. Do the math, it’s not rocket science, build it and they will come.

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