One Disney World resort won’t reopen until next summer as others remain closed indefinitely

Walt Disney World is postponing the reopening of its Polynesian Village Resort until next summer, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer hotel occupancy in central Florida.

Disney has postponed the reopening of the Polynesian Village multiple times. As of late June, it was supposed to reopen on Aug. 12; as of July, it was supposed to reopen on Oct. 4.

Two other Disney World Resorts, the Beach Club Resort and BoardWalk Inn, will remain closed indefinitely.

Disney’s resorts had closed along with Disney World in mid-March. Disney World’s theme parks reopened in mid-July.

Hotel occupancy in Orlando continues to be among the lowest in the country, according to STR, which tracks hotel occupancy data. As of the week ending Aug. 22, occupancy in the Orlando market was 29.3%, well below the national average of 48.8%.

In a quarterly earnings presentation earlier in August, Disney executives said Disney World was struggling to attract visitors making long-distance trips to the Florida theme park who also book flights and hotels.

Meanwhile, hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort announced in late August that more than 800 employees will be losing their jobs as the Florida theme park industry continues to be devastated by the pandemic. 

The employees at Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort were indefinitely furloughed or permanently terminated, according to a notice filed by the company Loews Hotels & Co.

A company director said in a letter to the state that the surge of confirmed cases in late June and July and other states’ decisions to order Florida travelers to quarantine had caused a “sudden, dramatic and unexpected reversal in bookings.” 

According to the Florida Department of Health, the state had more than 616,000 coronavirus cases Monday. Only California has more.

Disneyland and other California theme parks are still waiting for state guidance for them to reopen.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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