Can a Hotel Save SeaWorld Theme Parks?

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?

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