SeaWorld cuts 350 jobs in latest round of layoffs

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SeaWorld is building its first park outside the United States. And it won't have any killer whales. The company has struck a deal with Miral Asset Management to develop the park in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It should open its doors in 2022.

SAN DIEGO – SeaWorld announced Wednesday it will by slashing 350 jobs effective today.

The layoffs were mostly in the corporate headquarters and SeaWorld parks in San Diego and Orlando, according to San Diego Union-Tribune. SeaWorld spokeswoman Aimee Jeansonne-Beaka told the newspaper they were not going to be refilling the positions.

Seventy-nine positions at the San Diego location were included in the layoffs, according to SeaWorld spokesman Dave Koontz. The cuts would not affect the animal rescue and rehabilitation positions.

SeaWorld released the following statement:

“Today SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. implemented the latest phase of our previously announced company-wide cost initiative. Approximately 350 positions across the company will be impacted by these changes, including open positions that will not be filled. This ongoing work to improve efficiency is focused on administrative functions and non-guest facing positions, and we are redeploying resources from the related cost savings into our growth initiatives. This includes intensifying our efforts related to marketing SeaWorld to drive growth in park attendance, while maintaining our commitment to the guest experience.

We do not take this task lightly. It is an unfortunate, but necessary, consequence of the restructuring that some positions will be lost. For those employees, we are offering severance benefits and outplacement assistance to help with their transition.

We remain committed to creating world-class guest experiences, providing comprehensively for the care of all our animals, and continuing our company’s focus on stranded marine animal rescue and ocean conservation initiatives.”

SeaWorld has struggled with attendance since “Blackfish,” anti-captivity documentary, aired in 2013.