Friday, May 25, 2018
Business

Busch Gardens animal exhibit Jambo Junction closes days after SeaWorld announces layoffs

TAMPA — An interactive wild animal exhibit has closed at Busch Gardens just a few days after the park's parent company, SeaWorld Entertainment, announced it would layoff or eliminate 320 positions across the company's 12 attractions.

A Busch Gardens spokeswoman confirmed that the Jambo Junction exhibit was closed Thursday, and said that the future of the exhibit is unclear. She declined to comment on how many workers were laid off at Busch Gardens as part of SeaWorld's announcement Tuesday.

"We are not commenting on the specific number or positions for the park," said Karen Varga-Sinka. "No decisions have been made about what lies ahead for the Jambo Junction section of the park at this time."

Jambo Junction was a zoo education section of the park where visitors could walk through the exhibit and see animals in their enclosures from behind glass walls. Another animal walk-through area, Curiosity Caverns, closed this year, according to the blog Screamscape.com, which tracks the amusement park industry.

"Jambo Junction is closed as we are always evolving how we deliver our park attractions and experiences. Busch Gardens continues to offer guests dozens of ways to engage with thousands of animals in our world-class habitats," Varga-Sinka said. "We are an animal-focused company at heart and are consistently looking at new ways to bring that vision to life in our parks. As with other attractions that change over time, the closure of any area of the park is considered against a number of factors including its popularity when compared to other attractions."

On Tuesday, SeaWorld Entertainment announced a corporate restructuring program that would eliminate 320 positions across all 12 parks, which include SeaWorld parks in Orlando; San Antonio, Texas; and San Diego; Busch Gardens parks in Florida and Virginia; and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. The layoffs were part of an effort to reduce costs. Layoff notices have not been reported to Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity yet, which tracks job eliminations. SeaWorld laid off around 300 employees in 2014.

Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

Comments
Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Donít use the cruise control

Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Donít use the cruise control

Associated PressDETROIT ó Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare but terrifying circumstances, drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The company is warning owners not to use cruise control until...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Associated PressFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fedís independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system. His re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Tim Butler’s first car was a Ford Model A pick-up truck — a pearl fawn and cherry red pick-up he got his senior year in high school from his dad, who renovates antique cars. That’s why as Butler waited for a table at the Ford’...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

TAMPA ó A St. Petersburg man was fined $507,513 and permanently barred from participating in the offering of a penny stock in a case involving a scheme to manipulate the price of Aureus, a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada, officials said Fr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Broadcomís CEO tops highest-paid list with a $103 million payout

Broadcomís CEO tops highest-paid list with a $103 million payout

Times staff and wiresNEW YORK ó Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, bringing the median pay package for CEOs to $11.7 million. Across the S&P 500, compensation for CEOs is often hundreds of times highe...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

SAFETY HARBOR ó Denis Phillips cracks a pop-top and pulls a can that looks a lot like him to his lips."Itís got that citrusy feel to it," he says. "Which is a Florida thing. Thatís not bad." Indeed, thereís a grapefruit finish to Rule #7 Hurricane Sa...
Updated: 7 hours ago
At Pinellas Parkís iconic model train store, an ownership change goes off the rails

At Pinellas Parkís iconic model train store, an ownership change goes off the rails

PINELLAS PARK ó The iconic model train store that has sat at U.S. 19 and Haines Road for close to 30 years announced on its website it will be moving to another location."Itís difficult trying to stock a store thatís bigger than the reality is these ...
Published: 05/25/18
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA ó Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didnít start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH ó Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers di...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

RIVERVIEW ó Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new location in Riverview, the chain announced Thursday. The new store will be located at Summerfield Crossing Shopping Center, though Sprouts did not have a specific opening date.The announcement comes...
Published: 05/24/18