Epic is also paused, so it appears both companies are taking a similar approach.This is going to bite them in a few years, Universal isn’t backing down and Epic Universe is going to be a game changer.
On a personal level, no big 50th=no me. Ill head out west where I don’t stay on property and usually only spend 5 days at DL (Knott’s is a must do if they have a festival) and I will be visiting Epic Universe in its first year so that might throw my schedule off and lead to an extended time away from WDW once this AP expires.
Epic construction has continued.
Universal Orlando’s new Epic Universe theme park will be delayed because of coronavirus pandemic
Universal is stopping construction of its Epic Universe theme park in Orlando as its parent company stands to lose $500 million in profits if the parks remain closed for the entire second quarter, Comcast executives said Thursday.
The new park was set to open in 2023, the company previously had disclosed, although Comcast CEO Brian Roberts did not say how much delaying construction impacts the project’s overall timeline. Universal Orlando officials did not immediately respond to an Orlando Sentinel request for more information.
The Comcast chief gave an update on Epic Universe during a first-quarter earnings call Thursday that showed Universal’s theme park revenue plunged 32% to $869 million compared to the same time period in 2019 when revenue hit nearly $1.3 billion.
Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, shut down its Japanese park in late February followed by the U.S. parks in mid-March. Overall, Comcast posted $2.1 billion in net income, a 40% dip from 2019. Earnings per share were $0.46, down 40%.
Comcast stock fell early Thursday as executives warned more second-quarter losses were expected.
If the parks remain closed through June, the theme park division stands to lose $500 million in profits, said chief financial officer Mike Cavanagh.
The company acknowledged they do not know when their theme parks will reopen again in the United States. Currently, Orange County and Florida leaders are meeting to discuss how Universal, Disney and other businesses can safely take in customers again. In Central Florida, as of Thursday’s latest counts, nearly 4,000 people have tested positive for the highly contagious virus while 126 have died from it.
The immediate priority will be safety, not pushing big attendance, Cavanagh stressed.
Roberts spoke of the theme parks’ strength, calling it one of Comcast’s moneymakers in the past decade.
“There is no doubt that our theme parks will reopen, and when they do, I believe we’ll benefit from strong pent-up demand,” Roberts said, calling them "historically resilient.”
Epic Universe comes as Universal invests heavily into its theme parks division to expand its footprint in Orlando in addition to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay water park.
In other Universal construction projects, the opening date for the highly anticipated Super Nintendo World in Japan is expected to be delayed by a few months. However, in China, Universal’s new Beijing park is “amazingly” on time and on budget to open in 2021, Roberts said.
Roberts assured investors the company is in good position to navigate the coronavirus as it has more than $15 billion in liquidity. Like many companies, Comcast has raised money through debt offerings to have more cash on hand.
While the Universal Orlando hotels and parks remained closed, the company paid full wages to workers through April 19. Starting April 20, the company began paying 80% of their regular wages although it maintained health care coverage for those who already had it. Universal in Orlando employs about 25,000 people.
Starting Sunday, Universal Orlando part-time workers will get furloughed. Universal has pledged to automatically enroll them in Florida’s unemployment system which has been burdened with payment delays and problems of employees struggling to access it.
Comcast has also committed $500 million to help its employees dealing with the hardship.
Walt Disney Company and SeaWorld Entertainment are both expected to release their earnings next week.
Site development and roadworks will continue, valued at around $300 million.
Overall construction delayed by a year, says OC Mayor -
SSE's fairly creaky and definitely needs some major maintenance (and from what I hear, space mountain as well). Hope these attractions just don't get shuttered while waiting for a $$$ rebound.I selfishly hope this saves SSE from the “Little Golden Books storytime makeover,” but today’s earnings report is also terrible news for the hundreds of thousands of CMs worldwide. I hope the company can bounce back quickly.
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