SEAS Seeks Federal Coronavirus Relief Loan

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Apr 16, 2017
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I think what many people are overlooking is that, it is not us necessarily that are comparing Disney to SeaWorld. It was a labor union that deals with Disney employees, that compared their handling of the problem to SeaWorld.

I do not believe it is unreasonable to compare Disney versus SeaWorld because they are both prominent theme parks in the central Orlando area. That is to say, I am specifically referring to SeaWorld Orlando, not the entire chain. They both provide a significant impact to the workforce in the area. And when it comes down to it, they are direct competitors when it comes to hiring. As someone looking for a job, you may compare the two workplaces which offer the same type of work, but different pay and benefits.

In the eyes of the actual workforce in the area (and not in the eyes of enthusiasts who may not live in this area/work at these establishments) they are comparing jobs, not companies, not profits, not size. They are directly comparing the benefits, the pay, and the type of work. Which is actually a very fair comparison. In order to be competitive and survive, SeaWorld Orlando needs to step up and make the attempt at closing the gap between them and Disney as far as how they treat and compensate their employees.

If you are a cook at SeaWorld Orlando getting paid $11/hr with half decent benefits and then furloughed with no benefits compared to a cook at Disney who was getting paid $14/hr with great benefits and then furloughed with full benefits paid for -- are you going to really want to stay working at SeaWorld Orlando or are you going to jump ship to Disney?

And the other thing to look at is that Disney sets the gold standard for how theme parks should operate. Obviously, many other parks can't meet that standard, but when Disney does something, other parks try to replicate it in some fashion because Disney is the trendsetter of the industry. A prime example is that Disney was the first theme park to announce closing and to continue paying its employees. Suddenly, after Disney's announcement Universal followed suit and then all other parks started to fall in line with that.

Do I think SeaWorld should get this loan? Most definitely not. The stipulations of the loan relate to maintaining and keeping employees. The money can't go to other important things like animal care or facility maintenance. It must go towards payroll, benefits, and the like. They already made the decision to furlough their staff, without any guarantee of returning. They already made the decision to get rid of their employees, which this loan was meant to prevent. If they truly wanted this money, they should have applied for this loan prior to furloughing staff, so they could at least attempt to pay people just a little bit longer. It may have even helped to lessen the load on unemployment applications processing while most other Disney and Universal employees are all being thrown in the system at once.
 
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warfelg

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Do I think SeaWorld should get this loan? Most definitely not. The stipulations of the loan relate to maintaining and keeping employees. The money can't go to other important things like animal care or facility maintenance.
Ok, let me address this because it's the second time I've seen it come up:

1 - SEAS most likely applied for this after they conducted their furlough. I'm highly doubtful they would knowingly do something that breaks the terms of the loan. So at this point it is about maintaining the remaining employees.

2 - The money can't directly go to things like animal care or facility maintenance. But they get aid with payroll, which means they can take funds they previously had earmarked for payroll and use it to extend animal care funds.
 
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I think you missed the point where is said, this is why I personally think they should not get this loan. And then I continued to say that they should have used this loan before furloughing all their employees because it really kind of defeats the purpose of the program to furlough all your employees and then beg for money to keep employees.
 
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And you are right that the money could indirectly help other areas, but that is a slippery slope which I think leans more to breaking the terms of the loan. A dollar is a dollar. If you move $5 to payroll, but then get a $5 loan to over payroll, so you move the original $5 back, you basically just took the loan money and used it for something other than payroll. I'm not certain that they could get away with that, or they very well may be able to get away it. But does that make it right to stretch the terms in such a way? Most definitely not.
 

warfelg

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Mar 16, 2016
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And you are right that the money could indirectly help other areas, but that is a slippery slope which I think leans more to breaking the terms of the loan. A dollar is a dollar. If you move $5 to payroll, but then get a $5 loan to over payroll, so you move the original $5 back, you basically just took the loan money and used it for something other than payroll. I'm not certain that they could get away with that, or they very well may be able to get away it. But does that make it right to stretch the terms in such a way? Most definitely not.
That's not breaking the terms of the loan at all. If the loan is being used to payroll and that's the terms or the loan, then they have no say over you shifting money to other areas.
 

warfelg

Advisory Panel
Mar 16, 2016
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I think you missed the point where is said, this is why I personally think they should not get this loan. And then I continued to say that they should have used this loan before furloughing all their employees because it really kind of defeats the purpose of the program to furlough all your employees and then beg for money to keep employees.
Except they couldn't:
SEAS Furloughs happened on March 27th, 2020
Main Street program was established April 17th, 2020
 
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Is is also 100% within the bounds of the loan rules that you can have already furloughed your staff and then used the funds to bring them back.
 
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I didn't say it breaks the terms. I said it leans towards breaking them and that it definitely stretches them. That indicates that, I don't know for certain that they can legally do that, without repercussion but that if they can do that, it comes off very dishonest and two-faced for the company.

Well, if they couldn't then oh well, I still don't believe they should receive this type of loan.

@Jahrules I have no problem with that, and in fact, I highly support that. My concern was with them taking the money and not working to bring anyone back.
 

warfelg

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Is is also 100% within the bounds of the loan rules that you can have already furloughed your staff and then used the funds to bring them back.
Sure....I'm not sure why they would though. Makes no sense to do so. Especially when they don't know how long it's going to be until they open again.
 
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