Universal Orlando will remain closed through at least April 19 because of the coronavirus pandemic, extending its previously-announced closure through the end of March.
According to an unsigned statement from the resort, the closure includes Universal Orlando’s theme parks, hotels and the CityWalk shopping and dining district. Universal Studios Hollywood in California will also extend its closure to April 19.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed, based on guidance from health agencies and government officials,” the statement said.
Universal’s 25,000 employees will continue to be paid while the resort is shut down. Hourly workers will be paid through April 19 based on the average weekly hours for the four-week period prior to the closure. Salaried employees will be paid their normal rates.
The announcement came soon after Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced a “stay-at-home” order beginning March 26 and running through April 9. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has so far refused to issue such an order at the state level.
The pandemic is having a “material adverse impact” on multiple divisions of Universal’s parent company Comcast, according to Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Along with its theme parks being closed, Universal theatrical releases have been moved to streaming platforms or delayed, as was the case with “Fast and Furious 9” being pushed into 2021.
Adding to Comcast’s financial pain is the postponement of the Tokyo Summer Olympics into 2021, which will impact $1.25 billion in advertising for NBCUniversal.
“ At this point, it is impossible to predict such extent and duration and the degree to which supply and demand for our products and services, including advertising, will be affected,” Comcast said in its SEC filing. “This uncertainty makes it challenging for management to estimate the future performance of our businesses, particularly over the near to medium term.”
Unlike rival Disney, Universal has continued work on one of its largest construction projects, the new Epic Universe theme park, according to the Orlando Business Journal.