Aramark plans to layoff over 100 workers staffed at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
JetBlue Park at Fenway South

There is now an uncertain future for more than 100 people in Southwest Florida during the pandemic.

Aramark, which helps to staff workers at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, plans to lay off 118 people. It’s not yet confirmed if it would be before or after springs training.

Most of the employees, whose jobs are at risk, work in the stands at the ballpark.

With the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, businesses nearby wonder how they could be impacted if there are fewer workers and fans in the stands next spring.

Spring training is a busy time for Michael Denunzio and his team at Fine Folk Pizza.

“Typically, spring training is absolutely pizza pandemonium for us,” Denunzio said. “We get a lot of traffic from JetBlue stadium.”

But after hearing that Aramark at JetBlue Park intends dozens of employees, Denunzio wonders if his business will see the normal foot traffic next spring.

“Getting all the traffic from the baseball stadium is definitely a big deal to us, and we are rooting for baseball season to come back.

Aramark sent a notice to Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity that it will have to lay off employees after JetBlue Park told Aramark it would only need their services in a limited capacity because of the pandemic.

“I think it’s just absolutely terrible whenever you hear about anybody getting laid off,” Denunzio said.

The letter Aramark sent says the company anticipates an improvement in business conditions once COVID-19 is under control. The company says all affected employees have been notified.

Now, the fate of many employees and these nearby businesses will be determined by COVID-19 and if there is any progress in the coming months.

“We are hoping that we will see a miraculous decline in the COVID cases,” Denunzio said.

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