ORLANDO, Fla. - The Universal theme parks are reporting huge losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, an earnings report revealed on Thursday.
A Comcast earnings report revealed that revenue at the Universal parks fell 94 percent during the second quarter when most of its parks were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Universal reopened its parks in Orlando and Japan in the final weeks of the second quarter and executives said that they think its a better option financially to operate with drastically reduced crowds than to be closed completely.
The CEO of NBCUniversal reportedly said that the theme parks' “financial impact has been most significant and immediate and the operational challenge the most daunting” for the company. He added that the road to recovery "will be gradual and bumpy, but I’m confident this business will return to its historical levels of financial performance."
"I will tell you Universal does very well with the Halloween Horror Nights and that’s canceled," Gary Kaultbaum of Kaultbaum Capital Management and a FOX News Business Contributor told FOX 35. "They’re no longer driving up, so they don’t need to use the gas. They don’t need to stop at the service plaza. They don’t need to use the hotel. They don’t need to go to the restaurants. They’re sitting there staying at home."
He added that this will have a domino effect on local businesses, stating that "I can’t imagine what these business owners are doing right now."
Meanwhile, at Walt Disney World, earnings are also less than magical. Kaultbaum said that that "revenues last year were $20.2 billion for the ending June quarter. Estimates are only $12 and a half billion. So sales are down 35 percent."
In addition, Seaworld had 6.5 million guests last year, but this year only 300,000. He said that "$18 million in sales and last year they did over $400. It leaves you breathless because you know that’s people being affected."
Kaultbaum believes that until there’s a vaccine, it will stay this way.
SOUTHWEST ORLANDO, ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2016/01/18: Universal Orlando Resort. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Universal Orlando Resort is currently operating with limited capacity and new safety measures, including:
- Temperature checks at every entrance, as well as for every employee.
- Masks will be mandatory for all guests and employees. Those without a mask will be offered one for free. Stores will also sell face coverings.
- Audio message and signage reminding guests to follow safety protocols.
- Virtual lines implemented at popular attractions.
- Menus at restaurants will be single-use only. There will be no buffet or self-serving options and only individually packaged condiments will be offered.
- Interactive play areas closed.
- Post-show meet-and-greets closed but performers will remain on stage for photos.
- Water elements on attractions are reduced or closed entirely.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.