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SeaWorld sees the tank as half full

Theme park goes ahead with revamp plans amid revenue drawbacks

SeaWorld is moving forward with plans to pump millions in new attractions at its San Diego theme park.

On December 19, the City of San Diego provided notice that SeaWorld has applied for the necessary permits for a large renovation project that includes removing structures to make room for a new roller coaster, construction of new buildings, a new orca exhibit, and food courts.

The project, classified as a Process Five, will require San Diego's planning commission to review the project as well as final city-council approval before construction begins.

The improvements are a part of SeaWorld's larger efforts to rebrand their theme parks after negative publicity caused by the backlash of the *Blackfish* documentary, which questioned the park's orca exhibits, its treatment of killer whales, and the deaths of orca trainers.

The resulting public relations nightmare from the documentary sent SeaWorld's stock into decline. Revenues for 2016 decreased by a reported $15 million from the previous year. SeaWorld stocks were also down by a reported 34 percent.

Despite the financial straits, in September of this year, the theme park announced its plans to change its image and build new attractions.

“We are extremely excited with the scope and depth of the new attractions and events coming to our SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in 2017,” said Joel Manby, SeaWorld Entertainment's president and chief executive officer in a statement following the announcement.

“In developing new experiences we want guests to have fun, but also be inspired, and our parks are uniquely suited to create meaningful and fun vacations.”

The application to the city is the first step in the permitting process. Planning commissioners and city councilmembers will vote on the project in the coming months.

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SeaWorld is moving forward with plans to pump millions in new attractions at its San Diego theme park.

On December 19, the City of San Diego provided notice that SeaWorld has applied for the necessary permits for a large renovation project that includes removing structures to make room for a new roller coaster, construction of new buildings, a new orca exhibit, and food courts.

The project, classified as a Process Five, will require San Diego's planning commission to review the project as well as final city-council approval before construction begins.

The improvements are a part of SeaWorld's larger efforts to rebrand their theme parks after negative publicity caused by the backlash of the *Blackfish* documentary, which questioned the park's orca exhibits, its treatment of killer whales, and the deaths of orca trainers.

The resulting public relations nightmare from the documentary sent SeaWorld's stock into decline. Revenues for 2016 decreased by a reported $15 million from the previous year. SeaWorld stocks were also down by a reported 34 percent.

Despite the financial straits, in September of this year, the theme park announced its plans to change its image and build new attractions.

“We are extremely excited with the scope and depth of the new attractions and events coming to our SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in 2017,” said Joel Manby, SeaWorld Entertainment's president and chief executive officer in a statement following the announcement.

“In developing new experiences we want guests to have fun, but also be inspired, and our parks are uniquely suited to create meaningful and fun vacations.”

The application to the city is the first step in the permitting process. Planning commissioners and city councilmembers will vote on the project in the coming months.

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Comments
2

Because we desperately need entertainment in San Diego and it's all the better if we can pretend that it's about Science!

Dec. 22, 2016

SeaWorld must have some of the worst PR people, demonstrated after "Blackfish" blew up. Like Exxon with the huge Alaska oil spill in 1989, SeaWorld just wasn't ready for a disaster, and apparently had no plan in place to deal with an onslaught of negative news coverage. They haven't learned from their mistakes. Manby's comments are straight out of a slick and vapid presskit. The CEO and the whole PR staff should be fired.

Dec. 23, 2016

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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