Six Flags Says Hiring Isn’t That Easy Due To Immigration Limitations, High Unemployment Benefits And School Hours

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Six Flags Entertainment Corp. said Wednesday that while its customers are showing signs of strong pent-up demand for its theme parks and money to spend, it is having a hard time hiring enough people to provide full service to those customers. At least for a few more months. “We have found it difficult to staff our parks upon reopening, with labor shortages due to many factors, including COVID school hours, immigration restrictions limiting the number of international temporary worker visas, and temporary worker benefits. widespread unemployment that keeps people at home, “said Chief Executive Officer Michael Spanos, according to a FactSet transcript of the post-earnings conference call with analysts.

That’s causing some “frustration” among customers, as fewer staff means more time to comply with safety protocols for cleaning roller coasters between attractions and longer lines at food and beverage venues. The stock SIX, -2.10% fell 2.4% in midday trading, but reduced a previous loss of as much as 10.3% to an intraday low of $ 44.00. Chief Financial Officer Sandeep Reddy said the company is making an “immediate push” to attract more seasonal workers through job fairs and advertising. In February, Six Flags had said it was hiring “thousands” of employees as it prepared to open all of its parks for the 2021 season. And earlier this month, the company said it was hosting a “National Hiring Week” of the April 23 – May 2, at all locations in the United States. CEO Spanos said he expects job challenges to “begin to diminish” as the main operating season begins. “[A]As schools are closed for the summer, many of our employees at some point tend to be school-age children looking into the summer and that will be a huge unlock in terms of job supply, ”CFO Reddy said. “And I think that’s why we hope that when Memorial Day weekend rolls around, we’ll be in great shape.” Earlier Wednesday, Six Flags reported a lower-than-expected first-quarter loss as attendance was more than double what Wall Street projected. Net loss for the quarter through April 4 expanded to $ 95.8 million, or $ 1.12 per share, from $ 84.5 million, or $ 1.00 per share, in the same period last year. . That beat consensus analysts’ expectations for a loss per share of $ 1.31, according to FactSet. Revenue fell 20% from a year earlier, and 36% from the run-up to the 2019 pandemic, to $ 82.0 million, but was well above the FactSet consensus of $ 47.2 million. Total guest spending per capita fell 1% from a year earlier, but increased 16% from two years ago, to $ 56.16, below expectations of $ 57.10. Attendance was 1.3 million, compared to 1.6 million last year and 2.2 million in the pre-pandemic period, but exceeded the FactSet consensus of 600,000. The stock is up 40.3% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 SPX Index, + 0.03%, has gained 11.5%.