SeaWorld profit strategy: Drive up prices, not attendance


The strategy is evident in SeaWorld’s financial results. The company’s parks, which include namesake marine parks in Florida, California and Texas as well as Busch Gardens theme parks in Florida and Virginia, drew nearly 1 million fewer visitors during the first nine months of this year. That amounted to a 5 percent drop compared with a year ago, to 18.9 million visitors.

At the same time, however, per-person spending on tickets jumped 10 percent, climbing from $36.04 to $39.50.

The result: Even with the smaller crowds, SeaWorld’s total ticket sales are up more than 4 percent so far this year. Rising revenue from admissions, which account for more than 60 cents of every $1 SeaWorld makes, has the company on track to post nearly $1.5 billion in total revenue for 2013, which would be a company record.

For more on this story visit: Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel