Local attraction blames economy for cut workers

Heather Fayette
Heather Fayette
Sarah Harvey
Sarah Harvey

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

EAST OAHU (KHNL) - Big cuts for a big attraction here in the islands as 44 employees of Sea Life Park are laid off. Officials say with recent tourism turnout at all time lows, they had no choice but to cut 20 % of the company's employees.

For years, Sea Life Park Hawaii has attracted audiences from all over.

But recently, the company says dolphins aren't the only things dropping. Tourism turnout is at an all time low and that means 44 full and part time positions must go.

"I'm a little surprised," said visitor Sarah Harvey.

Visitors this afternoon are caught off guard by the news, especially since the park just took new ownership last month.

"I was actually thinking about putting in a good review because we had so much fun today. They had sea turtles, it was a great time," said Visitor Heather Fayette.

We've seen a lot of tourists around so I don't understand why it's not happening for this area," said Harvey.

Sea Life Park Hawaii officials declined comment but did release this statement it says "We are saddened to have to take this step. these are all good employees, but unfortunately, given the loss in revenues, we have no option but to cut back on operating costs."

"It's a chance for people who can't get out to the beach to come and see the sea life so I think it would be a loss," said Harvey.

The staff now slimed down to about 175, the park will now turn to the people to help push it past these tough economic times.

The layoffs come two days after 34 workers lost their jobs at the North Beach Grill at Ka-anapali Beach Club on Maui.

Just last week, Maui Land & Pineapple laid off 274 employees, while Molokai Ranch terminated more than 120 workers in March.