SALT LAKE CITY – The economic slowdown from the coronavirus is hitting one of the largest entertainment companies in Utah. A large number of people who work for the Utah Jazz, the Salt Lake Bees, Vivint Smart Home Arena and Megaplex Theaters are being furloughed until further notice.
Officials with Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment say they’re 100 percent dependent on movie studios, concert promoters and professional sports leagues to keep their business going. However, with studios like Disney and Warner Brothers pushing back the release dates of blockbuster movies, promoters postponing large concerts and sports leagues changing their schedules, company officials say it’s impossible to run their normal operations.
“The sports and entertainment world has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” LHMSE Group President Jim Olson said in a statement to KSL.
Overall, roughly 40 percent of the workers for these organizations are being furloughed, which equates to hundreds of employees losing out on their paychecks. Olson stated they intend to bring these people back to work when they can, but they can’t predict when.
Olson said, “With no clear indication of when our business can fully reopen, we have made the difficult yet necessary decision to furlough a portion of our employees within Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment.”
A statement from the company says they’ve been paying their employees their wages and giving them full benefits for the past eight weeks, and they’ve tried every other measure they know of to cut costs. However, there are some benefits the employees will be able to keep until they get back.
“Those furloughed will remain LHMSE employees and maintain health care benefits during the furlough period,” Olson said.
Other company officials say they’re working with the Department of Workforce Services to find their workers other jobs until the furlough is over.
“We’ll be doing all we can to support them during this transition,” he said.
The Deseret News reports the Jazz were eligible to ask for federal assistance, but didn’t ask for it. The Los Angeles Lakers came under fire after accepting $4.6 million in federal money, which they later returned.
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
Resources for more information:
State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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