ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld Entertainment reported record revenue during its third quarter, despite impacts from Hurricane Ian and staffing issues at its parks.
What You Need To Know
- SeaWorld posted record revenue in the third quarter
- Total revenue was $565.2 million; net income was $134.6 miilion
- Company says international visitation hasn't returned to pre-pandemic levels and staffing is still an issue
In an earnings report released Wednesday, the Orlando, Fla.-based theme park operator said total revenue was $565.2 million — an 8.4% increase over the same quarter in 2021. When compared to the pre-pandemic third quarter in 2019, total revenue was up 19.3%.
SeaWorld — which operates SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Florida — also posted record net income of $134.6 million, an 31.8% increase from the same quarter in 2021.
Attendance was also up, although slightly. Across its parks, SeaWorld had 7.3 million visitors, an increase of only 1.5% from the same period last year, but a decrease of 9.7% compared to pre-pandemic 2019.
SeaWorld said that Hurricane Ian, which lead to multi-day closures of its parks in Florida, impacted attendance in the quarter, resulting in approximately 90,000 fewer visitors.
International and group visitation has also not returned to its pre-COVID levels.
And despite revenue gains, the company is still dealing with staffing issues at its parks. During the investors call Wednesday, SeaWorld CFO Michelle Adams said that although staffing had improved from earlier in the year, the company has still not reached “optimal” staffing levels.
“We continue to suffer from staffing shortages in various roles across our parks at various times during the quarter,” Adams said.
SeaWorld is continuing its strategy of offering new attractions and rides at its parks each year. For 2023, the lineup includes Pipeline: The Surf Coaster at SeaWorld Orlando, Serengeti Flyer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Arctic Resue at SeaWorld San Diego and Catapult Falls at SeaWorld San Antonio.
But the company also plans to make investments beyond attractions as a way to improve its financial results and the guest experience.
SeaWorld plans to invest at least millions of dollars next year on what it calls “highly attractive growth projects.”
“We will enhance, improve and/or create new animal habitats, food and beverage outlets and retail venues, and we will invest in park infrastructure and technology to improve the guest experience and reduce and/or eliminate cost,” Adams said.
Coming off its Halloween season, which included separately-ticketed events like Howl-O-Scream, SeaWorld is gearing up for Christmas events at its parks.