As many of you already know, SeaWorld was hurt by the 2013 release of the documentary Blackfish which called attention to the controversial issue of keeping killer whales captive. As a result, SeaWorld has struggled with attendance, with their stock shares falling 37% in 2014 alone.
SeaWorld recently decided to develop a branded hotel in their San Diego, California location, following the paths to financial success used by other theme park companies (think: Disney). In essence, SeaWorld has recognized that the opportunity to recoup lost revenue through hotel rooms, easier (and more frequent) park visits, and food/beverage sales. For many family travelers, being able to stay in the theme park they are visiting is a significant perk (along with other benefits, like early entry etc.) that they will pay extra for.
In their San Diego location, SeaWorld will partner with Evans Hotels to potentially build a hotel of up to 300 rooms. The hotel still requires regulatory approval and is years away from construction. However, in its latest earnings report, Walt Disney Co. reported a hotel occupancy rate of 84%, which must have sounded like money in the bank for SeaWorld.
What are your thoughts on SeaWorld and their plans to build a hotel? Would you visit?