Two Universal Orlando’ hotels — the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Aventura Hotel — will close on Aug. 21 as tourism struggles to pick up due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Orlando Sentinel has reported.
Loews Hotels told the Sentinel that it has “decided to consolidate our hotel operations as we manage through current conditions.”
Guests with reservations at Sapphire Falls or Aventura will be accommodated at one of the theme park’s five other hotels: Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites.
Walt Disney World has also delayed reopening some of its resort hotels and plans to cut back hours starting Sept. 8 as the Florida theme parks have reported more cancellations than anticipated since reopening.
Universal Orlando Resort was the first major local theme park to reopen, followed by SeaWorld Orlando in mid-June and Walt Disney World in July. The theme parks are operating at reduced capacities.
During Comcast’s second-quarter earnings results, the company's theme parks division, which includes Universal Orlando, took a big financial hit. Revenue for the theme parks division plunged 94% in the quarter. The division generated $87 million, which was down significantly from $1.46 billion it generated during the same period last year.
Executives said while attendance levels were significantly lower at its reopened parks, the parks were in a better position financially being open rather than remaining closed.
Central Florida's $75 billion tourism and travel industry has plummeted as people are slow to return to amid the coronavirus pandemic. Florida’s tourism industry suffered an estimated 60.5% drop in visitors during the pandemic’s peak from April through June, according to Visit Florida. The state saw 12.8 million total visitors during 2020’s second quarter.