Universal Orlando to resume building Epic Universe

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Work is resuming on Universal Orlando Resort's Epic Universe, and the company said it will create thousands of jobs in the Central Florida region. Construction on Universal’s fourth theme park was halted in July due to the coronavirus pandemic. It had originally been slated to open in 2023, but it’s unclear how long the delay will push back the opening.

Read more from WESH/Orlando.

Not sure how they finance their capital projects but borrowing is so cheap right now. I have a coworker who says, "never miss an opportunity to take advantage of a disaster". He doesn't say that tongue in cheek. We bought our house during the pandemic and got a 30 year mortgage for 2.6% fixed. Borrowing probably won't get much more attractive than right now.

Last edited by wahoo skipper,

If my observations of my employer apply across the industry, I would say their parent company has done extremely well during the pandemic and is always profitable. They can afford to invest heavily in the Universal parks and resorts in anticipation of greater future success.
Conglomerates provide the ability to fund long term decision making. Private conglomerates can have the corporate wisdom and freedom from shareholder pressure to do so.

—Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

I was under the impression that they'd retrenched a large percentage of their creative people. Will they be able to get them all back?

Mack also mentioned in an interview with a german newspaper that their 20 million euros project with Universal was cancelled. That was months ago, so Universal has to restart the tender process for the park.

Richard Bannister said:

I was under the impression that they'd retrenched a large percentage of their creative people. Will they be able to get them all back?

If not, there will be more than enough highly qualified folks in Central Florida that will be more than willing to accept a position with Universal Creative the moment they are able to bring people on again

99er's avatar

What Brett said. There is still a huge amount of creative people, from all the major parks and 3rd party design groups, that are still out of work in Orlando. Once Universal needs creative people, they will have no problem filling those positions pretty quick.


As for contracts for ride systems, and other materials, I would imagine that many of them could be dusted off, reworked a bit and be ready for execution. I'm going out on a limb, with no evidence, that this "lost year" really won't change the design by much. Since Tokyo MarioLand never opened, there are no "real time" learnings from it, so not much to be "modified" in a second iteration. At this point, I would believe that it's a, oh, sorry 'bout that 1 year delay, ok, everybody back to work and on plan.

The design work for most of the projects was nearly complete (i would imagine), so it's a matter of repricing (i'm sure there's new verbiage for cancellation penalties, etc), and then shoring up supply chain in a post Covid world. Who knows how many of the subcontractors and vendors are even still in business after a year of being shutdown. That I believe will be the biggest hurdle. Again, I have no inside info, but that's how I see it.

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