SeaWorld lays off workers across country but won’t say how many

SAN DIEGO — SeaWorld parks laid off workers across the country last week, but it remained a mystery Tuesday how many employees lost their jobs in San Diego.

SeaWorld announced Friday it was laying off employees from a number of its 12 parks around the country, including its namesake locations in San Diego and Orlando and its Busch Gardens and Aquatica locations. But the company declined to give any exact number of planned layoffs, and continued to do so Tuesday.

“Like most companies, we regularly evaluate operations to ensure we are properly organized for performance and efficiency,” SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz said, reiterating the company’s previous public statements on the matter. “As part of those ongoing efforts, SeaWorld Entertainment has eliminated a limited number of positions across the company. We remain committed to our conservation, education and rescue mission.”

SeaWorld Entertainment employed roughly 4,700 full-time staff members and 12,000 part-time employees at the end of 2018. The company cut 125 jobs at its parks across the country in August.

SeaWorld’s parks saw their first increase in park visitors last year since 2015, two years after the release of the documentary film “Blackfish,” which criticized the company’s use of orca whales in its attractions. The company has since ended its use of orcas in park attractions.

SeaWorld San Diego is expected to debut a roller coaster next month, the Tidal Twister, which will feature two 16-passenger trains that reach speeds of up to 30 mph on a figure-eight track.

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