SeaWorld San Diego

SoCal Theme Parks Set to Reopen, Look to Hire Hundreds

San Diego-area theme parks have hundreds of jobs to fill

NBC Universal, Inc.

The sounds. The smells. The lights.

San Diego’s popular theme parks will take a step closer to normalcy Thursday. However, that step includes a need to hire hundreds of new employees.

“There’s so much energy right now,” smiled Belmont Park Public Relations Manager Daniela Bower. “It’s been about a year in the making.”

Bower said they’ve been in overdrive to open most of the Mission Beach destination by April 1.

“It’s been such short notice,” she sighed, referencing the constant rule changes. “A lot of the changes that come down are very last-minute. So, we have to be flexible.”

She said Belmont Park still needs to hire upwards of a hundred people.

“We’re hiring for basically every position almost,” she laughed.

“For almost four weeks now, we’ve been recruiting, we’ve been hiring,” said LEGOLAND California President Kurt Stocks. “It’s wonderful to be welcoming back staff.”

Stocks said they were forced to furlough almost 1,200 employees in 2020.

“Far longer than we would ever have expected or anticipated when all this first started,” Stocks said.

He said they will open roughly half the Carlsbad theme park Thursday and the entire park on April 15. Stocks said they took advantage of being the last LEGOLAND in the world to reopen.

“We’ve had a chance to share best practices, test protocols in other places. So. We’re confident we’re ready to go,” he smiled. “I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to go down there to see the gates open at 10 a.m.”

SeaWorld San Diego opened its doors in March but hasn’t announced when it will begin operating its rides, which loom large on Mission Bay’s horizon. A SeaWorld spokeswoman said the park is looking to still hire 600 people. The park is in the midst of a virtual hiring event.

“We’ve really learned patience. We’ve learned flexibility this year,” said Bower.

It’s a flexibility many places have learned and will rely on as the sounds, smells, and lights return to their parks.

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