It is no secret that the SeaWorld family of parks were not doing spectacularly well prior to the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but in the wake of the shutdown, things have really fallen apart for the company, with the new CEO jumping ship, three construction liens filed against SeaWorld, and now SeaWorld is asking for a bailout from both the local and the federal government to help cover its losses. And now we are learning more about how this parks group, which owns and operates not only the SeaWorld parks, but also Busch Gardens and Aquatica parks, is trying to stay afloat through this pandemic.
SeaWorld has secured enough loans to survive the year
Several weeks ago, the situation with SeaWorld was pretty dire, with the parks operator losing an estimated $2 Million per day while the shutdown is ongoing. However, the good news is that the company recently secured $227.5 million in loans, according to an SEC filing. With this new cash-raising loan SeaWorld has said it officially has enough cash to survive through to 2021, even if the worst case scenario happens and its theme parks don’t reopen at all in 2020. Interim CEO Marc Swanson made the following statement about the future of the theme parks company:
“I am proud of our team and thankful for their resilience during these uncertain times. We are fully committed to successfully navigating through this current environment, reopening our parks and welcoming back our guests as soon as it’s safe and permitted.”
Finding a way to support workers
Unlike Disney and Universal, when SeaWorld closed all of its parks back in March, they did not continue paying their workers for any length of time, furloughing all but the most essential employees immediately. And while it looks like the the company may be back in black thanks to the above loans as well as some federal programs designed to help struggling companies, local unions are lobbying for funds to be withheld from SeaWorld until the company puts the furloughed workers back on its payroll and restores their health benefits.