Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – The Tennessee Aquarium is laying off 22 full time employees as a result of financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Aquarium is facing a deficit of more than $5 million by the end of 2020. Aquarium attendance is 50% lower than in 2019. Attendance at IMAX is down 70%.
In a message sent to staff and volunteers Thursday, Aquarium president and CEO Keith Sanford said, “As a leader, pivotal moments like this are extremely tough. While I have compassion in my heart for each individual whose job has been eliminated, I also have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the Aquarium has the financial footing to recover fully.”
The Aquarium currently has 136 full-time employees and 23 part-time employees.