Much of the news this past week has revolved around the effect of the spread of Coronavirus on theme parks both in the US and abroad. However, last week SeaWorld Orlando quietly released its fourth-quarter results for 2019 (which you can read for yourself here), and it looks like most of the news is good! Though this park has been going through a very public rough patch since 2012, with some aggressive special deals and a heavy investment in new attractions, SeaWorld has been fighting its way back slowly but surely, posting moderate attendance gains over the last year.
Attendance is up year over year for both the quarter and the year
Though attendance at SeaWorld parks had been on a positive trend, even though there have been a few blips in recent quarters. However, according to SeaWorld's latest financial release, attendance at theme parks during the last quarter increased 2.2%, to 4.7 million guests from the fourth quarter of 2018. In addition, when we look at fiscal 2019 when compared with fiscal 2018, attendance is up 0.2%, to 22.6 million guests. Serge Rivera, Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc made the following statement about the attendance gains:
We are pleased to report a strong finish to the year with record-setting performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal year. Despite continued unfavorable weather during the quarter, we continued to grow attendance and total revenue per capita and executed on our cost and efficiency initiatives. Our strategic focus on new rides, attractions and events in every park every year, improved marketing, communications and pricing strategies and a relentless focus on cost efficiency initiatives has resulted in significant increases in attendance, revenue, and Adjusted EBITDA over the last two years.