A heavy debt load is eating up profits at Universal Orlando, formerly called Universal Studios Escape and before that, Universal Studios Florida. The loss in fourth quarter 1999 was $15 million versus a loss of $7 million in the same fiscal 1998 period, according to the resort’s parent, Seagram Co.

The park showed operating revenue of $17 million for fourth quarter 1999 compared with $9 million in the same 1998 period.

The revenue, however, wasn’t enough to stanch the red ink. Universal lost $98 million for the fiscal year ended June 30. That compares with a profit of $37 million in fiscal 1998. The resort is banking on the new Universal Orlando name to generate new tourist dollars this year.

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