Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, shared an update for Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood’s temporary closures, citing an extension, as well as an update on what this means for the parks’ team members.
Both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood are extending their closures “at least” through May 31, as the company continues “to respond to current conditions and make the health and safety of team members and guests our top priority.” This extension includes the theme parks and Universal CityWalk at both resorts. Universal Orlando’s resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations for this time period.
In addition to the closure extension, an update was shared regarding team members’ employment and pay during the closure. Starting April 20, nearly all team members will be paid at 80 percent of their usual pay, and will be asked to adjust their work accordingly. A small group of team members will be asked to continue working at 100 percent and will continue to be paid at that level.
Starting May 3, part-time hourly team members will be furloughed. However, Universal plans to fully cover the cost of benefit plans for those team members who have them.
Williams said in his letter on UOTeam.com, “For our part-time hourly team members, please know that you remain in our thoughts. And while we don’t know precisely when, we look forward to welcoming you back when the time is right.”
Williams also said this in his letter, which makes us wonder if Universal anticipates this closure to last longer than June:
“Second, we are facing months of closure with no way to accurately predict when we will reopen. No business, even one as strong as ours, can sustain this without having to make difficult choices.”
There was no update included as to whether or not ongoing construction on current projects will be halted as a result of this extended closure, or if it will continue as normal.
Stay tuned for more updates as we await any new information on this extended closure.