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Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015

SeaWorld still struggling, reports $25 Million loss, blames ‘Blackfish’

SeaWorld Entertainment plans to launch a new marketing campaign next month in an effort to rebuild its image and regain lost business. The company reported a loss in its fourth quarter of $25.4 million as attendance to its theme parks, placing blame on the documentary Blackfish, which criticizes the company’s treatment of killer whales.

The blowback from the 2013 release of the documentary resulted in an attendance drop 2.2 percent to 4.4 million at the close of 2014 and this followed a 5.2% drop in the third quarter.

Protester at SeaWorld Orlando  2015 photo/ Brandon Jones, The Global Dispatch

Protester at SeaWorld Orlando 2015 photo/ Brandon Jones, The Global Dispatch

“This won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight,” International Theme Park Services Inc. President Dennis Speigel told Biz Journal about the planned campaign. “But they have to put their best foot forward. They have to reinvent themselves.”

In the last quarter, SeaWorld recorded a loss of $25.4 million, compared to a $13 million loss in 2013 and a 3 percent drop in revenues from $272 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $264.5 million this last quarter.

“Shares are down 42.8 percent over the last 12 months as attendance fell, with negative publicity surrounding its alleged mistreatment of animal trainers and orcas warding away some potential visitors to its theme parks,” notes NY Post.

UPDATE

SeaWorld Orlando has ended a popular program for visitors to hand-feed its dolphins, replacing the program on March 2 with a $15, reservation-only package that allows small groups to spend several minutes touching and interacting with dolphins but not feeding them.

“Dolphin Cove will continue to provide areas where all guests are able to view dolphins up close, and interact with animals that choose to interact with them,” said spokeswoman Becca Bides in a statement.

“It’s out of date, out of style and it’s full of risk,” said Courtney Vail, campaign and program manager for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

Vail said dolphins have been harmed in large feeding programs fighting over food and by guests dropping objects into the pools, not washing their hands and touching the dolphins’ eyes or blowholes. Guests occasionally are bitten, she said.

 

Protesters at SeaWorld Orlando  2015 photo/ Brandon Jones, The Global Dispatch

Protesters at SeaWorld Orlando 2015 photo/ Brandon Jones, The Global Dispatch

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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