Universal laid off an undisclosed number of team members last month, making this the second round of dismissals since the Orlando parks reopened in early June.
In its second-quarter financial results presentation yesterday, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell reiterated that the company has paused development on the planned third theme park for the Universal Orlando, which company, state and local officials announced one year ago tomorrow.
Epic Universe has been in development south of the current Universal Orlando property, just north of the Orange County Convention Center.
That's because the market for which Universal designed it no longer exists.
The trouble is that no one - at Universal or any other theme park or attraction business - knows what will replace it.
Universal and Disney went beyond the vague and too-often inconsistent advice to "wear a mask" and instead provided detailed instruction on what that meant.
Want to get into Disney or Universal now, you'd better be wearing a double-layered, solid cloth covering that loops over the ears or ties around the head, and that covers the nose, month, and chin.
By staying home now, millions of theme park fans believe that they're doing the right thing to get this industry back on its feet as quickly as possible, because staying home offers the best way that the public can help subdue this virus most rapidly?
Will people be eager or reluctant to be in the big crowds for which a park such as Epic Universe was designed to accommodate.
Universal would be foolish to keep spending to build a billion-dollar theme park it designed to open in 2023 based upon what it knew about the market in 2019.
Universal should now trash any of the designs that it has created for Epic Universe, and it won't.
But until Universal has a clearer vision for what a post-pandemic market is able to support, it can't responsibly go to investors and ask their blessing to continue with capital spending at the level that a project such as Epic Universe demands.
I hope that Universal someday soon builds new lands based upon the themes it planned for Epic Universe.
I hope that it builds a new theme park on its planned South Campus.
I hope that Universal calls that park Epic Universe and that it opens in 2014 or as soon after as possible.
The simple fact is, it's obvious Florida is a total mess on this and folks are wary just stepping foot in the state, let alone a theme park, no matter how well Disney and Universal are handling it (much better than Sea World).
I don’t think the entire state of Florida is a mess. It’s mainly the southern areas. Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties have been accounting for nearly half of the Florida cases during the surge. And, as Disney has states, there is no evidence that any more cases have been spread from the parks. The Orlando parks are under a microscope right now, so that is likely true..
“I hope that Universal calls that park Epic Universe and that it opens in 2014 or as soon after as possible.“.
Going to take this opportunity remind everyone a few months ago when I said there was no way Epic Universe was still going to be built and everyone jumped on me ..
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