SeaWorld making ‘significant investments’ going into hotel biz, opening international park

SeaWorld Entertainment turns its sights to hotels and an international theme park.

SeaWorld Entertainment is on the verge of opening its first international theme park this month and is jumping into the hotel business, the company’s CEO Marc Swanson said.

“I’m very excited about the significant investments we are making and the many initiatives we have underway across our business,” Swanson said as the company released its first-quarter earnings. “We are building an even stronger and more resilient business that we’re confident will deliver improved operational and financial results and meaningful increases in shareholder value.”

The company, whose portfolio of theme parks include SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, posted a record revenue of $293 million, up 8% from the same time period in 2022, despite attendance dropping 25,000 visitors to 3.4 million guests. The company said bad weather and the new rides opening later this year are to blame for the attendance drop compared to 2022’s first quarter.

Disney and Universal draw visitors who stay the night on property and remain in the theme park bubble on their vacations. Meanwhile, SeaWorld hasn’t entered the hotel business before. But that’s changing, Swanson said Tuesday, as SeaWorld plans to open its first hotel in 2025 and a second one in 2026.

“We’re obviously excited about the hotel,” Swanson said. “We’re one of the few in the industry that doesn’t own our own hotels or have our own hotels, so we’re excited for those possibilities.”

Swanson still hasn’t said where the two hotels will be built, but hinted more hotels will be coming in the future. He also said the company hasn’t determined whether SeaWorld will own and operate its own hotels or partner with another business to finance and run the properties.

“We are working on design and planning for those two hotels and on site selection for additional hotels across our portfolio,” Swanson said, promising to provide more updates in the next months.

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is opening its doors May 23. The park will have rides, characters and animal rescue facilities. But unlike the other SeaWorld parks in the United States, it won’t feature orcas — which have both a beloved and controversial history at SeaWorld.

Under a licensing agreement, SeaWorld will share revenue and a percentage of adjusted earnings, Swanson said, predicting the company will bring in a few million dollars this year and then “ramp accordingly … depending on how popular the park is.”

“We think it’s a great park,” Swanson said but with the return, “it’s hard to know until we get it open.”

To build attendance back up, Swanson pledged to “continue to do the things we’re doing,” such as investing in the parks and opening new rides and holding more events. In Orlando, the surf-themed roller coaster Pipeline is scheduled to open May 27 to the general public.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Dont Say FLA

    May 9, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    Wow, even Abu Dhabi is more palatable to Sea World than Rhon DasPanties’ Sugary Stupid State of Fleur Duh. Looks like everybody jumping ship outta FLA as fast as they possibly can. With state government being leveraged by the Gub’ner for his personal pissing contests, who can blame ’em!

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 9, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    I, Earl Pitts, “International Business Advisor” American, was called into many upper management meetings over at Sea World to advise them of future business trends and oppurtunities.
    They based their business expansion on my sage advice after I brought them up to speed on what the failing Disney Company is doing to kill its own business.
    After explaining the “Go Woke Go Broke” curse Disney brought on itself, it became quite clear to SeaWorld Management, that Disney is circling the toilet bowl of emiement demise.
    Then with all of SeaWorld’s honorable excutives great respect for America and America’s Govornor (who Disney insulted and showed great disrespect to) it became clear we needed to impliment an immediate plan of expansion to take the failing Disney’s place.
    Why SeaWorld must act:
    We are doing our SeaWorld expansion for all the childern of the world.
    So I, Earl Pitts “Master Song Composer” American wrote a song about it.

    “SeaWorld loves the little childern, all the childern of the world.
    Red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in SeaWorld’s sight.
    SeaWorld [Not Disney] loves the little childern of the world”.
    You are welcome America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 9, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Good afternoon again America,
    Allright allready:
    My, Earl Pitts American’s, phone has been blowing up demanding the second verse of the song.
    “Disney died for all the childern, all the childern of the world.”
    “Disney tried to make kids woke, now like Bud Lite Disney’s broke”.
    “Disney died for the childern of the world”.

    I’ve been getting so many calls from former dook 4 brains lefties who all stated something about putting the issue to song made them throw off the shakles of leftism, wokeism, and dangerous leftist group think.
    These former dook for brains lefties are so gratefull to be “free free free at last” that they are flooding my cash app with thousands of dollars.

    Hey y’all are welcome already. You can stop with the money already. I, Earl Pitts “Mr. Wealthy” American have too much money as it is.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

Comments are closed.


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