Holy Land Experience laying off most employees, closing 90% of park

Holy Land Experience
A shot of the outside of the Holy Land Experience, 2016. |

The Holy Land Experience, a Christian-themed amusement park in Orlando, Florida, will be laying off most of its employees after Easter.

Earlier this year, the park announced plans to shut down their elaborate stage productions starting on April 18. A 2020 Workers Adjustment statement revealed that they’d be laying off 118 employees who work at the theme park. 

"Among the eliminated positions are 43 actors and musicians, 17 guest services associates, as well as numerous techs, retail employees and food service workers. Workers will be offered severance based on their seniority," the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday. 

Contemporary Christian music station WPOZ said the layoffs have placed the Holy Land Experience in a position to completely shutter, though the park’s general manager previously said that is not the case. 

“The change will refocus the park on its original plan and function,” Mike Everett, general manager of The Holy Land Experience, said in a statement in January, according to a previous Orlando Sentinel report. “The Scriptorium, which holds rare and unique biblical artifacts, and a scale model of ancient Jerusalem and the city of David, will continue to serve as the park’s main educational attractions,” he added.

The management team will be scouting out “the best and most efficient use of the property, assessing other economic opportunities, including redevelopment,” Everett said.

These plans mean that 90% of the 19-year-old park will be shutting down.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Live Church Orlando, led by pastors Tye and Shante' Tribbett, will continue to use the Holy Land’s 2,000-seat Church of All Nations auditorium to hold church services.

Prices for the park are still $50 for adults, but because its future is unknown, annual passes and group rates are no longer available.

The Trinity Broadcasting Network owned The Holy Land Experience from 2007 to 2016 and later distanced itself from the attraction, but continued to promote the theme park and still owns the property where it stands.  

TBN’s marketing director Nate Daniels told the Orlando Sentinel in January that the property is potentially up for sale.

“There’s been a lot of development in the area,” he said. “We own a significant part of land around the park, not just the park itself. There’s the possibility of selling a part of it and maintaining the actual park area.”

 The property is valued at $20.2 million, the Sentinel added. 

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