SeaWorld Revenue Up, Attendance Still Low in Third Quarter
SeaWorld officials will focus on rebranding after lower-than-expected third quarter earnings. Revenue for the theme park grew less than a percent. But low attendance hurt the bottom line. That’s as the theme park fights animal cruelty allegations in California, one of its largest markets.
CEO Joel Manby cites an attendance drop, but insists the decline has slowed.
“Has it completely stabilized? No. But it’s definitely heading in the right direction and we do have plans to keep spending on our reputation campaign there because the facts do help us when we get them out there.”
Manby says the theme park will focus on improving its “value philosophy,” which means offering visitors a special experience and not just a set of prices to pay. Competitors like Universal raised rates on daily admission this year. Manby says SeaWorld could set itself apart by rebranding and keeping its rates the same.
“We have an opportunity there,” he says. “And again, it’s about clearly simplifying what our value is. And right now, I really think the way we market, we can improve upon that.”
SeaWorld paid higher legal costs in its third quarter fighting allegations it mistreats its killer whales.
Bad weather also forced the park to close temporarily its locations in Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
The theme park has lowered its projected revenue for the full year to $360 million.
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