SeaWorld eliminating 60 jobs in San Diego, 320 nationwide

Posted at 9:12 AM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 18:16:21-05

ORLANDO, Fla. - SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is eliminating 320 jobs across its 12-park company, including 60 jobs at SeaWorld San Diego.

Company officials said Tuesday in a statement that the goal of the restructuring is to eliminate costs and improve the company's operations.

David Koontz, director of communications, said:

"Today, Dec. 6, 2016, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. implemented a restructuring program across the entire 12-park enterprise focused on reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, reducing duplication of functions and improving the company's operations through proven benchmarks. These changes are being made to best position our company for long-term success, and so that we can continue to do great things for animals across the globe.

We remain committed to a continued focus on the guest experience, the health and welfare of our animals, and the safety of our guests and team members.

It is an unfortunate, but necessary, consequence of the restructuring that some positions will be lost. For those employees, we are offering enhanced severance benefits and outplacement assistance to help with their transition."

Meanwhile, 10News reporter Jon Horn confirmed the following:

City News Service reported the company filed a notice of mass layoffs with the state's Employment Development Department. The notice listed the layoff of 60 employees, including five merchandise supervisors, five painters and four assistant curators. The education and promotions departments were also impacted by the layoffs.

The job cuts involve both salaried and hourly workers.

Company officials say the changes will position the company for long-term success.

SeaWorld's attendance and revenue have suffered in the face of a campaign by animal rights activists.

Earlier this year, the company announced it was ending its orca breeding program and stopping its traditional killer whale shows.

The company has parks in Florida, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia.