With more than $3 million already invested into renovations and equipment, Orlando-based Pirates Dinner Adventure debuted Wednesday to a sold out show and a promise of more jobs and performances to come.
Skyler Rankin, director of marketing for the International Drive attraction, said the owners of parent company Orlando Entertainment pushed to have the 800-seat theater open for business this week.
“We’ve been working literally night and day,” Rankin said. “We weren’t sure how people would react but we sold out faster than we thought.”
The 20-year-old attraction was forced to shut down after Hurricane Irma battered the building in September.
While renovations were underway, a fire damaged the theater in April, forcing another delay, but the company never gave up.
“Now we have dragons, we have mermaids and new stunts,” Rankin said. “I think people will be blown away.”
The company also has a payroll, hiring 200 people for the debut with projections for additional staff in the next few weeks.
“It is millions, millions put into this,” Rankin said. “New seating, new lighting, sound; obviously, that stuff is not cheap.”
Rankins said the company decided to “redo everything” bringing a brand new theater to I-Drive.
“Dozens came back who worked with us before,” Rankin said. “Our numbers are way up more than I expected, people are responding from tours to an overwhelming amount of local families coming to the show.”
Rankin admits the financial losses were tremendous for the 10 months the theater was closed but the company “believed in the project and this town.”
“We have another show coming this September. We’re going to hire dozens more for cast, techs, bartenders, waitresses all coming to that new show, so we’re not done,” Rankin said.” We have enough to get by but we’re hiring more people.”
The company projects roughly 100 more jobs will be filled in September for a show that will have a classic burlesque theme.
“It’s a big cast for that show and obviously you need backups and the backups need backups so we’re looking good,” Rankin said.
The Pirates Dinner Adventure continues through the weekend. For more information go to www.pirateshow.com.