Disney World’s best rival just rocked the theme park industry


IIt was the pay hike heard in the Disney world. Comcastof (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Universal Orlando announced Thursday that it will pay all employees a minimum of $ 15 an hour starting June 27. Central Florida.

Rival Disney (NYSE: DIS) get there. Three summers ago, Disney World struck a deal with half a dozen unions representing the lion’s share of the resort’s employees. Disney was starting new employees at just $ 10 an hour at the time, but the deal calls for an increase in the size of House of Mouse until the new minimum hourly rate for “cast members.” no tip goes from $ 14 to $ 15 in October. With staffing becoming an issue in many consumer-facing businesses, victory in the “fight for $ 15” was inevitable.

It was supposed to be the summer that national theme parks and regional amusement parks have been waiting for two years. Can Theme Park Operators Thrive In The New Normal? Should investors start dividing winners from losers as wage inflation crushes the turnstiles? Let’s take a closer look at Comcast’s significant move.

Image source: Universal Orlando.

Take a ride

What if the country had a post-pandemic wake-up party and too many people were called sick? Many industries are currently suffering from a staffing crisis. This is evident in the restaurant industry. Even the major ridesharing companies are struggling, as the demand for transport and take-out deliveries is ahead of the supply of pilots.

We are already seeing ripples in the theme park industry, and that is before the peak summer travel season begins. Cedar Fairof (NYSE: FUN) The iconic Cedar Point recently turned heads to update its June availability. The park will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday for the next four weeks, due to the lack of employees to operate every day. Last week, he made the dramatic decision to double his pay to $ 20 an hour and offer a $ 500 signing bonus for new hires or hires. Raising labor costs will take a toll on the bottom line, but it’s better than not being open at all.

Universal Orlando and ultimately Disney paying $ 15 an hour will be easier to digest at closed attractions where day tickets run into triple digits, but you have to wonder about the competition. Third-largest theme park operator in Central Florida in terms of attendance SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: MER) – raised its hourly rate to $ 11 an hour at the end of 2018. It will not be able to stay there when its two biggest rivals pay 36% more. SeaWorld Orlando employees may be passionate about the cause of marine life, but will it still hold up if we literally cut them down?

Paying more is easier said than done, especially now when a theme park’s profit potential is capped by seating capacity limits and travel restrictions are eating away at the center’s more lucrative customers. Florida. SeaWorld stock can be reach new heights, but keep an eye out for its operating schedule and continued delays in new rides due to debut in 2020. Investors are bidding leisure stocks ahead of what’s supposed to be a blazing summer season, but don’t forget to stress the point of work.

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Rick munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns stocks and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Cedar Fair and Comcast. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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